The Grenelle Environment Round Table’s measures on agriculture

The Grenelle Environment Round Table aims to combat global warming. It is in this sense that agriculture is the subject of several measures.

What does the Grenelle Environment Round Table provide for agriculture?

The Grenelle Environment Round Table was initiated in 2007 by then Minister of State Jean Louis Borloo, under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy. Several NGOs and environmental associations took part in this first Grenelle. The problem of polluting gas emissions in the agricultural sector was also at the heart of the debates. But what are the measures planned by the Grenelle Environment Round Table in relation to agriculture?

The development of organic farming

The objective of the 2007 Grenelle Environment Round Table was to increase the range of organic products on the market by 2012. This was intended to create new outlets for the agricultural sector. The bill proposed the use of organic products in all public restaurants. Thus, the organic agricultural area is to be increased by at least 6% by 2013 and 20% by 2020. To achieve this objective, the tax credit will be doubled to facilitate the conversion of conventional farms. However, in some regions of France, organic farming is struggling to establish itself on land. At the distribution level, in some organic shops, products must be imported from other countries to meet the demands.

Reducing the Impact of Conventional Agriculture

The Grenelle Environment Round Table Act provided for measures to reduce the impact of conventional agriculture on the environment. One of these measures is the environmental certification of farms, the most demanding of which may grant specific certification. On the energy side, a performance plan has been put in place to enable the conversion of farms to the use of green energy such as solar or wind power. To face the dangers of pesticides in conventional farms, the first solution proposed was a reduction of the most dangerous products, or even a ban or substitution by less harmful products. An emergency plan to protect bees has also been in place since 2009, implementing certain European directives on the banning of several plant protection products.

The other measures of the Grenelle Environment Round Table

At present, several non-governmental organizations are proposing an improvement to the Grenelle law to help farmers convert to organic farming. Thus, the tax credit should be doubled and generalized for all farmers on the territory. The protection of water through government agencies should also be put in place. The adoption of several laws to allow the coexistence of GMOs and other crops should be put in place quickly. Finally, accompanying measures will be taken in the field of organic farming in particular, in terms of job creation. These measures mainly concern training and the use of organic fertilisers. In conclusion, despite the efforts of successive governments, the effective implementation of the law on the Grenelle Environment Round Table is experiencing some problems, especially in agriculture because of certain practices that are difficult to change.