The European Fee has accredited France’s €215 million support scheme meant to assist French farmers who don’t use the controversial herbicide glyphosate and due to this fact face increased manufacturing prices.
After a inexperienced gentle from the EU government, French farms that now not use glyphosate will nonetheless be capable to obtain state support in 2023 underneath the French glyphosate exit plan.
The help scheme was accredited by Brussels on Tuesday (10 January) underneath the Short-term Disaster Framework for State Assist measures, adopted in March 2022 which led to a leisure of the EU’s – in any other case fairly strict – antitrust guidelines to bolster the financial system within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The French support scheme, introduced by the federal government in December 2020 and launched within the 2021 Finance Act, grants an annual tax credit score of €2,500 for every farm that doesn’t use glyphosate.
Equally to the tax credit for farms licensed as “Excessive Environmental Worth” (HVE) or “Natural Agriculture” (AB), the purpose of the scheme is to offset the prices of phasing out plant safety merchandise.
In 2021, the federal government mentioned that with the brand new tax credit score, it needs to “assist farmers who’re absolutely dedicated to the agro-ecological transition of their manufacturing techniques. This straightforward and easy-to-access tax credit score is an addition to the tax credit granted for natural farming and HVE certification, though it can’t be claimed alongside them”.
This tax credit score is directed at farms which can be most deprived on account of not utilizing glyphosate, i.e. these rising everlasting crops, these with arable land and in addition livestock farms that develop this sort of crop.
The Fee, for its half, mentioned in a press release that the scheme was “needed, acceptable and proportionate to handle a extreme financial disruption in a member state”, highlighting additionally that its approval was “consistent with the situations set out within the Short-term Disaster Framework”.
The Fee, contacted by EURACTIV, clarified that the state support framework has been made extra versatile since 2020, due first to the COVID disaster on the time and now the conflict in Ukraine, to provide member states leeway to assist their corporations.
The French glyphosate exit plan will due to this fact be prolonged not less than till 31 December 2023, because the EU Fee has determined to give a one-year extension to the authorisation of the herbicide, which was because of expire on the finish of 2022.
As for the longer term use of glyphosate, the European Meals Security Authority (EFSA) is predicted to offer a scientific evaluation of the state of affairs in July 2023.
President Emmanuel Macron promised again in 2017 to ban glyphosate in France “inside three years on the newest” earlier than backing down ultimately.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic/Gerardo Fortuna]