Visite de Jack A. Bobo, conseiller principal en biotechnologies
au Département d'Etat américain, 24 - 25 - 26 février 2013
February 2013 - Visit of Jack A. Bobo, Senior Biotechnology Advisor, U.S. Department of State (new)
French Buyer Reports 600 000 USD Sales Resulting from Buyers Mission (new)
FAS Paris nominated one French buyer to participate in the Organic Trade Association’s foreign buyers’ mission to the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, from March 8-10, 2013. As a follow up, the French buyer estimates a total of $600,000 projected sales resulting from this mission for the next twelve months.
France - Limiting First-Generation Biofuels - TTIP Sensitive Issue (new)
An intense discussion is currently taking place among industry stakeholders and policy makers on whether to limit first-generation biofuels, and if so, by how much, in reaction to the European Commission's proposition to reduce the food-based biofuels blending target from 10 to 5 percent by 2020. France's bioethanol industry favors an eight percent target, while the Ministry of Environment favors taking Indirect Land Use Change into consideration, based on recent studies made in France. In addition, French bioethanol producers expressed that the EU biofuels industry will not be able to stand trade liberalization under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations launched this year.
2013 Annual EU-27 Oilseeds Report - Ample Soybean World Supplies to Boost EU-27 Soybean Meal Consumption (new)
Expectations for a total EU-27 oilseeds production in MY 2013/14 are for an 8.6 percent increase reaching 29.7 MMT. Compared to the previous year rapeseed, sunflower and soybean production is forecast to grow. The increase is through higher acreage of rapeseed especially in Germany and Eastern European countries and normal yields of sunflower which were down in MY 2012/13 due to drought in major producing countries. Ample global soy supplies, combined with increases in EU-27 poultry and swine, are expected to increase the use of soybean meal in animal feed starting in the second half of MY 2012/13 and continuing into MY 2013/14.
France and the Bioeconomy or Green Economy (new)
As part of the European bioeconomy strategy launched one year ago, the Government, industry, and science research institutes in France are focusing on the bioeconomy as a strategy to address climate change and limited fossil resources. Over the past few months, a number of conferences have been organized on this topic, where France's government has shown interest in the U.S. approach of the bioeconomy.
France - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (new)
France is a member of the European Union (EU) and generally follows EU directives and regulations, including those relating to the importation of food products. This report provides an overview of food laws in force in France that cover areas which are not yet harmonized. This report also provides contact information and technical reference materials for exporters of U.S. foods to France.
2013 Annual EU Grain and Feed Report (new)
The outlook for the MY2013/14 EU27 grain crop is positive. While there were some weather-related fall planting delays, the crops are developing with minimal winterkill. A partial thaw in February was followed by a cold spell, which delayed spring plantings. If the forecast crop of 292 million metric tons (MMT) is realized, it will be a more sizeable crop than last year, but still 20 MMT below the record. Feed grain consumption is forecast upwards, albeit masking a switch from corn to other grains, while industrial grain usage is forecast up, although limited by the temporary closure of a UK-based bio-ethanol plant. The MY2013/14 balance suggests that the EU27 will be able to meet export demand, but much will ultimately depend on the size and quality of the harvest.
French Law Banning Bisphenol A in Food Containers Enacted (new)
In late December 2012, France officially passed a law suspending the production, trade and marketing of food containers containing Bisphenol A (BPA). Such containers are banned as January 1, 2013 for food products intended for infants and on January 1, 2015 for all other products. France notified the European Union and has also to notify the World Trade Organization. In the meantime, food containers containing BPA will have to bear a warning label for pregnant women and infants. Except for baby food, industry is far for being ready and the legislation will hamper French food industry competitiveness and negatively impact trade of food products, including French imports of U.S. canned food.
France Chooses Agro-Ecology for a More Sustainable Agriculture
Under France’s recently formed government, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched an initiative to make agriculture more sustainable, which aims to make France a champion of agro-ecology. Under this initiative, the Ministry puts forward practices that are environment-friendly and increase farms’ autonomy. The government’s focus is on the environmental and social legs of sustainability in agriculture.
Ag Biotech Policy - Emotion Takes Precedence over Science
The scientific credibility of the Seralini study on the toxicological impact of bioengineered corn NK603 and roundup herbicide on rats has been debunked by the eight national agencies (and the European Union) that have reviewed it, and the wide majority of the scientific community. A well-orchestrated media campaign, with ethics breach pointed by many; nevertheless, has proved to be efficient in raising fears and opposition towards agricultural biotechnology, reviving controversy. This has been the case not only in the public opinion, scared by a shocking media campaign that linked bioengineered products with cancer, but also for policy makers, whose positions have hardened against the technology. As a result, the scientific community is concentrating on increasing its visibility and credibility towards the public, as part of its long-term strategy.
French National Assembly Confirms BPA Ban. Hastens Implementation
On 28 November 2012, the French National Assembly approved the proposed BPA ban bill which had been voted by the French Senate earlier on. It amended the Senate version by notably dropping the medical devices (with exception of tubes with DEHP) from the ban but hastened the implementation date of the ban for all food containers with BPA to January 1st 2015. The bill will now return to the Senate for a second reading, likely in early 2013. Part of the bill (pertaining to polycarbonate containers)...
Oilseeds and Products: 2012 Sunflower Crop Hit by Hot and Dry Weather
This report provides EU-27 production, supply, and demand forecasts for oilseeds, protein meals and related products.
France - Actions Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable development is a top priority for France. A National Strategy for Sustainable Development was developed, resulting in a larger organic industry, environmental labeling, efforts to reduce pesticide use, and research and innovation projects. As consumers are receptive to sustainability, both upstream and downstream private initiatives have also developed, resulting in a number of logos on food products. FAS/Paris outreach activities have illustrated a variety of means taken in the United States to make agro- food production more sustainable. Theses activities have contributed to improve the image of U.S. food products and are likely to open minds and markets to U.S products and methods of production in the future.
Using ‘Sustainability’ to Market U.S. Foods In Europe
This report provides information and analysis for U.S. food and agricultural exporters on the topic of ‘sustainability’.
Crop update - smaller than forecast harvest means balance tight
With Member States starting to publish provisional harvest estimates for 2012, the total MY2012/13 EU27 grain crop is now only expected to reach 269.8 MMT, 2.8 MMT below previous expectations and the smallest in five previous seasons. Within this total, wheat production is put at 130 MMT, barley at 53.5 MMT, and corn at 55 MMT; all three below previous forecasts. The focus is now turning to usage within the EU27 and the implications for trade. The smaller than anticipated harvest has also inc...
Flawed Study - France Takes Tough Position on GE Crop
First-Generation Biofuels Weakened - Advanced Biofuels in Progress
France - Bakery Products|Retail Foods
Sales of baked goods rose by one percent in 2011, valued at $1.8 billion, but fall slightly in volume. Packaged industrial bread, specially white bread, was the only subsector to increase substantially in 2011. Artisanal products maintained their dominance with an overall 81 percent value market share. Sales of baked goods are expected to decline one percent in value per year in coming years.
France - Grocery Retail
In 2011, France’s grocery retail sector amounted to $282 billion, an increase of two percent compared to the previous year. Basically, five major players control 60 percent of the overall value sales. French consumers are paying more attention to obtaining good quality food products for lower prices, and have been more willing to buy private label products rather than brand name products as far as quality is comparable. To continue adapt to changes in the way consumers buy grocery products an...
France - Sauces Dressings and Condiments
France - Non-Alcoholic Beverages
In 2011, consumers’ health and environmental concerns influenced the introduction of low-sugar, preservative-free beverages with smaller, lighter, recyclable packaging. Hyper/Supermarkets are the major retail distribution channels, although sales of hard discounters retail chains are expected to increase. However, the French market for non-alcoholic beverages is highly competitive, but growth in private label sales may provide new opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Dairy, Milk, Cheese, Butter, Nonfat Dry Milk, Dry Whole Milk Powder
In 2012 and into 2013, EU-27 deliveries of fluid milk and manufactured dairy products are expected to increase but at a slower pace even when the economic downturn and rising cost of production factor into the production equation. The increase in milk production will be mostly directed for production of cheese, which remains in demand both domestically and internationally, and Non Fat Dry Milk (NFDM), directed mostly for export driven by growing world market demand thus prices. Several efforts...
French Senate Votes BPA Ban by July 1st 2015
The French Senate voted on October 9, 2012, on a bill that suspend the production, imports, exports, and marketing of food packaging containing BPA by July 1st 2015 and enforce mandatory warning labels for pregnant and lactating women. France would be the first country in the world to suspend BPA in all usages.
GMOs Are Poisons - International Scientists Outcry
Since September 19, a widely advertized study concluding that "GMOs cause cancer" has played heavily in French media. While the initial reaction from the press and policy makers was emotional and fearful, scientists have taken this opportunity to organize their reaction not only to the specific study, which was refuted by the European Food Safety Agency, but more generally to communicate on their perspectives of public research on plant biotechnology. While the Government of France is likely t...
EU Annual Agricultural Biotechnology
European government, societies, and businesses remain conflicted about the use of genetically engineered (GE) plants in agriculture and food production. Public perceptions, commercial use, research, and even regulatory approaches, vary among the European Union’s (EU) 27 countries. The EU approval system for GE crops remains politicized and operates at a slower pace than regulatory processes in GE producing countries. Imports of foods made from GE varieties not approved in the EU are banned, a ...
Biotechnology - Food Security - Sustainability in the Americas
In June 2012, farmers from the International Soybean Growers Alliance (ISGA), including two Brazilians, one Paraguayan, and two Americans, traveled to Paris to illustrate how their cultivation practices, including no-till, crop rotation, and biotech seeds, have contributed to an increased productivity, total production, and exports, while reducing environmental impacts. ISGA farmers expressed concerns about France’s and the EU’s slow approval process of new biotechnology products, while the div...
In France, economic drivers favor acceptance but policy decisions favor resistance to biotechnology
This report describes the trade, production, research and policy of genetically engineered plant and animal products in France. Hostility remains in France towards biotechnology among policy makers, the public opinion and non government organizations, while farmers and scientists are increasingly vocal about the need to adopt the technology to make French agricultural practices both more productive and more sustainable. Reported stagnation of crop yields, combined with massive use of crop protection chemicals, high costs of production, and reduced exports, all converge to a more sustainable intensification of agriculture. Biotechnology is part of the answer to meeting both domestic demand and export needs in an ever-growing world population.
EU Biofuels Annual 2012
EU Member States (MS) are mandated to reach a minimum of 10 percent for renewable energy consumed in transport in 2020. In 2011, about a fifth of the domestic use of biofuels was imported from outside the EU. Despite a reclassification of bioethanol blends to a higher tariff rate, 2012 and 2013 imports from the United States are anticipated to remain at the same levels as last year, around 1 billion liters. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2012 and in 2013, overall EU imports of biodiesel ar...
EU Dairy and Products Semi-Annual
In 2012, EU-27 milk production is expected to continue to grow but at a slower rate than in 2011 due to reduced domestic and international demand. Soft economies in Europe, fluctuations of prices for dairy products on the world market in the first four months of 2012 and decreasing farm-gate prices for milk in several EU member states are expected to constrain dairy production growth towards the end of the year. Some member states affected by the unstable dairy market situation are calling for...
Despite Winter Kill Modest Rebound in EU-27 Rapeseed Production
Total EU-27 oilseeds area in MY 2012/13 is forecast to decrease by 1.8 percent and is expected to total 11.4 million ha. The decrease is mainly explained by 4 percent lower acreage of rapeseed due to unfavorable wet conditions during planting in Denmark, winterkill mainly in Bulgaria and Hungary, and drought in Romania. A marginal increase of sunflower area is projected due to re-sowing of winterkill areas almost offset by a decline due to drought in Spain. Soybean area is also expected to de...
Grain and Feeds - All eyes on the weather - again
The weather has already made its mark on the MY2012/13 crop and is likely to remain the focus over the coming months. A severe cold spell in late January and early February caused above average winter losses in some parts of the EU27, especially France, meaning some fields will need to be resown to spring crops. A prolonged dry period through March and into April will also become a concern if rains are not forthcoming ahead of harvest. In spite of this, 284MMT of grain is forecast to be harve...
Farmers and Seed Industry Appeal National Biotech Corn Ban
On March 29, French corn growers and seed companies appealed France’s national ban on MON810 biotech corn before the country's highest administrative court on the grounds that it was scientifically unjustified and economically harmful for farmers. Despite the fact that the State Council lifted the ban last November, per the conclusions of the European Court of Justice, France reinitiated its national ban on the cultivation of MON810 biotech corn on March 18, 2012. The press revealed that the G...
Non-Biotech Labeling Rules in Place and Porposed Rules on Coexistence
Contrary to several political statements recently made by several members of the Government, France has not only left its national ban on Bt corn, but is also adopting new rules to secure the cultivation of biotech crops. In the past few weeks, a decree was published in the Official Journal defining "non-biotech" labeling, to be implemented on July 1 of this year. It describes the requirements for products produced in France, but does not apply to imported products. Moreover, a decree setting r...
Incentives and Plant Breeding Breakthroughs To Reduce Soy Imports
Among European Union (EU) Member States, France ranks above average in being protein-independent. However, despite efforts to reduce dependence on imported North and South soybean meal as the number one source of proteins in animal feed, the amount of soybean meal used in France’s animal feed have remained relatively stable at 4 million metric tons (MT) for the past 25 years. At the same time, the use of rapeseed meal in animal feed has sharply increased from minor levels to more than 2 millio...
Proposed Bisphenol A ban would impact U.S. exports to France
The French food safety agency concluded in its September 2011 preliminary report that Bisphenol A (BPA) had suspected impact on human health. The following month, the National Assembly passed a bill which bans the sales of any food packaging container and food material containing BPA by January 1, 2014. The bill still has to pass the Senate before the parliamentary recess in early March 2012 or become void. The French food industry believes it will not be able to avoid a BPA ban due to the pu...