Paris International Agriculture Show 2018

by Victor Albrecht
RPP France was visiting the Paris International Agriculture Show 2018

Every year at the end of February of beginning of March, Paris hosts one of the world’s largest and most important agricultural fair, drawing larger crowds than any other in Paris : le Salon International de l’Agriculture.

During this 9-day celebration of the French agriculture, all of the stakeholders, but also most of the French policymakers, and onlookers from the whole country, are present in the 8 huge exhibition halls of Paris exposition centre at Porte de Versailles. Organised this year around 4 key sectors (1° Livestock breeding sectors; 2° Crop and plant sectors; 3° Products from regions across France and its overseas territories, and from the rest of the world; 4° Agricultural services and professions) the Paris International Agricultural Show celebrates French “Art de vivre” and rural history.

Widely covered by French mass media, commenting in live the visits of the French Presidents and leaders of the French political parties, the policymakers take this opportunity to reach out to the general public to debate the issues of the day, in an attempt to seem more grounded and close from the rural France, as well as to improve their party image.

A Fair in the context of the new Agriculture and Food bill

The French Minister of Agriculture and Food, Stéphane Travert, presented on 31st January his bill on Agriculture and Food, following the conclusions of the General Estates of Food (EGA). The EGA, organised from summer 2017 to December 2017, were thought as a general brainstorm on the state of agriculture food sector in France. They brought together more than 700 stakeholders from the agricultural and fisheries sector, food industry, distributors, consumers, policymakers, social partners, NGOs, charities and banks and insurance companies.

Three main orientations are at the core of the bill: 1° Food self-sufficiency; 2° Promotion of feeding practices health and environment friendly; 3° Decrease of inequality in access to a safe, healthy and sustainable food.

RPP France in the Fair

On Wednesday 28 February, my colleague Claire and I got up early to spend as much time as possible in this fantastic place, bringing together our passions for animals, foods and politics.

The day was dedicated to my hometown region, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Hence, we took this opportunity to discuss with French MPs and senators of the region. Our staff had the occasion to meet personally with the Secretary of State in charge of European and Foreign Affairs. The day was also a dedicated to meet with agriculture sector stakeholders, including the cattle and brewer’s unions in order to discuss with them about opportunities and the future institutional events that we organise in the Parliament. In brief, we made several very interesting contacts, both politically and industrially, and were allowed to make nice advertisement of RPP advocacy competencies.

An exceptional 55th edition

This edition of the show was particularly marked by the increase in the number of visitors, after two years of decline due to a context of terrorist threats. Almost 700,000 visitors will have walked the alleys of the largest farm of France during the 9 days of the show.

Moreover, organisers counted 40 official visits made by public authorities such as Ministers or the President of the French Republic. Emmanuel Macron, in a tense context during which he was accused by his opponents of not being interested in the rural and agricultural world, broke all the records by spending more than 12 hours on the day of the inauguration on Saturday 24 February!

Link to Salon International de l’Agriculture

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