Saturday, April 04, 2009

The French official view

At the meeting of the Franco-British Council I attended last Monday, it was interesting to hear the current French official view expressed by a senior French person.

A food security theme was heavily emphasised with the food riots being invoked, it being argued that the health and well being of one billion people was threatened. Reference was made to the challenge presented by volatile prices. It was argued that food was a strategic asset and that we had lost sight of this in recent decades.

European policy ensured the food security of half a billion Europeans. Far from being a fortress, the EU was the world's leading importer from the developing world.
It was claimed that we had now reformed the CAP. This may be true, but it has not been transformed and many of its undesirable features remain in place.

It was argued that we should move away from the old stereotypical arguments about productionism versus environmentalism or markets versus self-sufficiency. We must produce more in a more sustainable way.

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