The French Prime Minister has told French farmers that their “heartfelt cry” has been heard as he unveiled details of a new law today (Wednesday, February 21) to support what he described as “those who feed us”.

As some French farmers continued their protests to highlight their frustrations and concerns, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, also pledged to place “agriculture among the fundamental interests of our nation, just like our security or our national defense”.

Speaking ahead of a major agricultural trade show which opens in Paris this weekend, Attal acknowledged that there had been a “cry of anger” by French farmers in recent weeks.

But he said a new “agricultural orientation bill” would recognise “in black and white our objective of agricultural and food sovereignty”.

Attal also stressed that this new law would place “agriculture among the fundamental interests of the nation, in the same way as our security or our national defense”.

“It is the reminder that there is no country without farmers, there is no France without agriculture,” he stated.

French agriculture

But Attal also detailed that there were “weaknesses” in some sectors of French agriculture and in “some means of production” and the challenge posed by climate change.

Because of this he said that a “specific plan for livestock sovereignty is under discussion”.

He believes that the “best recognition” for local farmers of their work would be for French people to “consumer their products”.


French farmers have repeatedly highlighted their concerns about cheap food imports, EU regulation and “unfair” competition during recent protests.

Attal today addressed these issues directly as he emphasised the country’s opposition to a free trade treaty between the European Union and Mercosur.

“I refuse to see food on our shelves that comes from farms abroad that do not respect our standards and the constraints that weigh on our farmers,” he stated.

He also detailed that France will not permit any product to be imported that is banned for French farmers – specifically referencing Thiacloprid – a neonicotinoid insecticide.

“We continue to import products that use it. This puts farmers at a disadvantage.

“This does not benefit the French since products containing thiacloprid are arriving on the shelves. It’s not acceptable,” Attal added.

At the same time France will also now amend previous plans to measure the use of pesticides because according to the prime minister “the objective of reducing the use of pesticides must not, however, leave our poor farmers without solutions”.

“In the end, no one would win the environment, nor health, nor agriculture,” he said.