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France improves its stimulus plan 'Future Bio Fund' to support the development of organic sectors

The French Bio Agency launches a new call for projects.

10/19/2020

French Bio Agency logo.


To accelerate the development of organic production in the territories, the French Minister of Agriculture and Food has chosen to strongly support the development and structuring of new organic sectors by dedicating a measure of the recovery plan to one of the key tools of the BIO Agency: the Future Bio Fund, strongly reinforced. These additional 5 million euros per year until 2022 strengthen existing organic sectors and emerging sectors, which bring innovation and new agroecological practices. Without delay, starting today, October 19, a new call for projects is open for a closing on January 12.

The very dynamic organic production is highly acclaimed by consumers both at national and European level. The Future Bio Fund, created in 2008, aims to support development programs for the organic sectors. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has entrusted its management to Agence BIO. This fund makes it possible to financially support collective projects for the development of organic production, carried out by companies, cooperatives, associations or groups of operators. These projects match supply with demand, be it citizen-consumer or collective catering (20% of organic products).

Among the projects already supported, the project for the construction of a logistics area by a cooperative of fruit and vegetable producers in Nueva Aquitaine. This project, in collaboration with processors, actors of collective catering and specialized stores, has allowed numerous conversions to organic farming and job creation. This example is indicative of what the vegetable sector can offer as a project, but the animal sectors are obviously also numerous to be supported by the Future Bio Fund.

The objective of the fund is to support initiatives:
  • Develop the offer of organic products, in particular by stimulating
    • Conversions to organic farming;
    • Diversification of products and points of sale;
    • Promotion of organic production.
  • Maintain remunerative prices for producers and attractive prices for consumers, creating economies of scale and optimizing logistics;
  • Ensure the supply and the points of sale by promoting the balance of relations between the different links in the sectors.
An upcoming call for this Future Bio Fund, still supported by the recovery plan, will be open in early 2021 for a longer period, to allow applications to be submitted as it progresses.

The Future Bio Fund complements the Government's support for conversion to organic farming. The government has also decided to extend the organic tax credit for all certified farmers as part of the 2021 finance bill. Finally, many measures in the recovery plan allow supporting projects in favor of organic farming, in particular by strengthening reversal or development of short circuits (see box below).

Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture and Food: “We must intensify the conversion to organic products in France so that French agriculture can meet the demand of the French who consume more and more organic products. The Future Bio Fund is an essential tool because it helps to structure organic production chains, from upstream to downstream, to ensure sustainable outputs and value creation for organic farmers. This new call for projects is the first measure of the agricultural component of the recovery plan that has materialized since its presentation on September 3. The challenge is for us to move quickly so that players can quickly benefit from the support that is dedicated to them. "

Philippe Henry, President of Agence Bio: "Organic agriculture is a coherent global system that goes from field to plate. The reconversion of farms and the continuous growth of consumption must be accompanied by a solid structuring of the processing sectors. The strengthening of the organic future fund is a strong signal. We are delighted with this and will be especially attentive to the leverage effect of the funds entrusted to us with the aim of promoting employment, food sovereignty and access to organic products for the most part " .

Measures of the stimulus plan in favor of the development of Organic Agriculture:
  • The farm equipment conversion premium will allow those wishing to convert to organic farming to finance the necessary equipment (eg mechanical weeding equipment);
  • The Vegetable Protein Plan is an opportunity for the development of an offer of organic vegetable proteins, for human consumption, but also and above all for animal nutrition, it is strategic for food sovereignty and the development of French organic sectors. Stakeholders in organic farming can benefit from upstream and downstream investment and research and development funding.
  • Territorial Food Projects are projects that promote agricultural production methods such as organic agriculture, and unite producers and consumers.
  • A bocage hedge planting program will financially support farmers who wish to strengthen biodiversity around their crops.
  • Funding for the livestock buildings is planned to upgrade equipment dedicated to biosecurity, animal welfare and free range farming, and will also be available to farmers in the organic sectors.
  • To create sustainable outlets, the recovery plan is helping the development of organic supplies in mass catering, for example school canteens in small towns that want to develop their offering of organic and local products. Likewise, the "1000 sustainable restaurants" initiative will be launched.
  • A bocage hedge planting program will financially support farmers who wish to strengthen biodiversity around their crops.
22th call for projects of the Future Bio Fund

The structuring of new organic sectors is decisive for the development of this mode of production and guaranteeing outlets and added value to our organic farmers.

The text of the call for proposals, as well as all the documents that make up the Future Bio dossier, are available in the Application Area of ​​the Future Bio Fund. The selection of projects will take place in the first quarter of 2021.

The candidate selection process is based on an evaluation grid of 5 criteria: the impacts on the organic sector, the supra-regional nature of the project or innovative nature, the co-financing requested, the multi-partner commitments formalized, the consistency of the objectives with respect to deployed resources.

The subsidies granted under the Future Bio Fund complement existing public aid (credits from local authorities, EAFRD credits, DRAAF animation credits, credits from Water Agencies, investment aid from FranceAgriMer, etc.). Requests for help from the Future Bio Fund are limited to € 700,000 per project.

Key organic figures

With almost € 12 billion in sales in 2019, representing a growth of € 1.3 billion in one year, the French organic market in 2019 rose to the level of the German market. By the end of 2019, more than 5,500 additional farms had committed to organic agriculture, bringing organic agricultural employment to more than 10% of agricultural employment.


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