France is still the leading agricultural power in Europe, the leading producer of cereals, wine, potatoes and even livestock, but it is gradually losing market share. By 2023, it could even import more than it exports. In question: lvery high production costs in France. For the apple, the cost of labor is, for example, 1.7 higher than that ofGermany and twice as large as in Poland.
In Germany, the trend is towards concentration. The country now has around 260,000 farms. There were twice as many as 25 years ago. If the small areas have decreased, the very large farms, between 200 and 1,000 hectares, have continued to increase.
The German agricultural landscape is also very diverse: in the North and East, an industrial agriculture, export-oriented, with pigs and poultry or large areas of cultivation. In the South, there are small farmers who have diversified their income with, for example, agro-tourism.
Organic farming is expanding, representing almost 10% of cultivated areas. Like its French counterpart, the German farmer works more than the others, about 50 hours a week, and earns less than the others, without forgetting to demonstrate.
Organic success in Italy
In Italy, there has been a significant drop in exports of Chianti, Prosecco, olive oil, pasta, Parmesan and even Parma ham, combined in huge losses caused by restaurant closures.
In total, the turnover of the agricultural and agri-food sectors fell by 12,000 million euros in 2020. We still feel a wind of optimism. Italians are bmore attentive to what they consume, making the country the organic champion of Europe. Zero kilometer products are becoming more and more successful and there is a boom in young farmers.
Effects of Brexit in the UK
In the United Kingdom, most farmers voted for Brexit in 2016 to ditch the Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP is gradually being replaced by a British scheme that rewards farmers who do good for nature. A measure that marks a horizon for 2028, but the effects of Brexit are already being felt.
In Scotland, the seed potato is grown. It is now prohibited from exporting to the European Union, as British regulations do not meet European standards according to Brussels. This tuber contributes 124 million euros annually to the nation.
But leaving the EU also brings new opportunities. An inquiry is being made to authorize genetic editing of crops and livestock. A process assimilated to GMOs in Europe, and only possible in the United Kingdom since Brexit.