The growing organic farming sector
In 2019, 1 in 5 eggs sold in France were organic. Organic butter has grown by more than 9%, + 5% for cheese, + 4% for cream and + 3% for ultra-fresh. In January 2020, the collection of organic cow’s milk represented 4.1% of the national milk collection, in two years there has been an increase of more than 40% in the number of organic farms. Even though there is still often a noticeable price differential between conventional and organic products, the volumes purchased in organic are still increasing, mostly captured by supermarkets.
Eat less but eat better
Consumers are in favour of organic products, but their demands are growing and their expectations are also becoming linked to notions of animal welfare and to alternative production systems (such as agroecology: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, limiting use of phytosanitary products, etc.).
The French are undoubtedly more attentive to the ecological, social and health impact of their food. And the highlighting, by animal protection associations, of the conditions for slaughtering animals and intensive breeding methods, as well as the search for more qualitative products, have pushed the French to turn to products from sustainable farming (organic breeding, open-air farming).
Pork meat is the most consumed meat in France (37%) but the organic pork sector is not very developed: at the end of 2018, organic pig farming represented only 1.3% of total production. Yet a strong consumer demand is helping to increase the pace of conversions and new establishments.
We went to meet an actor in the pork sector to find out more about the specificities of organic farming.
Le Cochon D’où Don
In Oudon, in Loire-Atlantique (44), Jéremy Diais, a young pig breeder decided to make his installation project a reality. After several years of observation of the pig industry and of activity within farms and accumulated experience, he created his company in July 2018: Le Cochon D’où Don.
His farm consists of 60 sows raised organically, that is to say free-range and on straw. To provide food for his animals, he cultivates 80 ha of land converted to organic farming, including 65 ha of cereals.
This modern farm consists of compartments that accommodate the pigs as they grow. The daily work of the breeder is the food, comfort and health of his animals. From the arrival of sows ready to give birth to the maternity ward, the monitoring of piglets after birth, the monitoring of the weight of the pigs so that they are not too fat allow him to claim complete transparency of his products.
Although working alone, his activity does not end there. Administrative work, planning of livestock and crops represent the main work of his daily life. The meat processing is done by a butcher who works only for breeders which allows traceability and total control.
His production is offered for sale in several independent specialist stores and from producers who have a store on the farm. Direct sales are carried out by packages offered to individuals on order.
Apart from school canteens, communities are not very concerned about where their products come from. In the future, I would like the out-of-home catering sector to favour French production.
To contact the company and follow its news, here are its contact details:
– FranceAgriMer, Bilan 2019 et perspectives 2020 – franceagrimer.fr
– Fédération Nationale d’Agriculture Biologique