“Farmer, I live below the poverty line”


SecondFrédéric Lesueur was disillusioned when he passed his hand to the supposedly beautiful sprout. one week ago, violent hail 10 hectares plantation in nearby Chantepie reindeer, and its fields are still badly scarred. “Here I can count on a ton of onions, there, radishes and beets, but the leaves are already crushed and I don’t know what I’m going to get. I don’t have any more summer veggies and my salads are half ruined . »

The former computer engineer has never experienced such disillusionment since retraining as an organic producer five years ago. And it’s far from over, as a heatwave looms over the next few days and a drought that has been raging for weeks could intensify in the summer.so there is no respite, even if latest weather events far from being digested. “There are about ten of us weathered the storm In this area, it would jeopardize our operations because at the moment, we are not entitled to anything, we are not covered, this Norman origin is creaking. Hail is not considered an agricultural disaster and must be discussed with the county or province. »

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climate hazards (especially their care) is also at the heart of the various mobilizations organized since 4 June France by the Farmers’ Federation. This was the case in Rennes a week ago, in Amiens on the 8th of June, this Saturday in Saint-Brieuc and then on the 23rd in Hérault. objective?cooperate with public authorities, especially this legislative election weekendbut also the revenue of consumers to operators.

below the poverty line

Or rather, lack of income. According to INSEE data, in 2020, a farmer can earn 1,200 euros per month working 55 hours a week. That’s an average, and Frédéric Lesueur says he’s “in the low”. Even very low, obviously. “I live on less than 800 euros a month, below the poverty line [1 102 euros pour une personne seule, NDLR]. If there’s one thing that stops me, it’s, at 48, not being able to own a house because it’s not easy. get housing There is also a big problem, because I don’t have a payroll, so the owner refuses to rent out, it’s a bit of a hassle! Also, rents here have gone up by 20% since Covid! »

Pandemic It was precisely the impetus that created the unprecedented short circuit that many people subsequently resumed cooking with local and fresh produce during various lockdowns. It is only here that the collective and lasting awareness of the need to restore food sovereignty in France did not prevent a return to normal life. “At the time, I had a lot of basket orders and we really believed that the system would change and that we could get away from this globalization. Even the President of the Republic was going in that direction! But obviously, it was an announcement effect because at the back, people were Back to their habit. To make matters worse, today our sales are down 20% to 30% and we’ve fallen back below 2019, so in coronavirus disease. »

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According to Confédération paysanne, this trend is likely to be reversed thanks to so-called open-air urban markets. It is sufficient to give priority access to farmer producers, as the latter account for only 16% of French stalls today, with the rest being mostly occupied by resellers or wholesalers. An easier request to set up, as it depends directly on the municipality. In Rennes, Frédéric Lesueur was part of a delegation on the issue received at the town hall. “I think elected officials understand the issue well and I have good hope that the communication is positive. It remains to be seen if (and when) this will materialise.

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