This Policy Brief presents a scenario for 2030 that is compatible with the protein transition objectives set out in the recovery plan and the French national low-carbon strategy (SNBC), then describes its implications in terms of investment and identifies a set of measures to unlock the sector.

Key Messages

  • Based on the development of legumes, the “protein transition” supported by the French recovery plan is a prerequisite for achieving numerous environmental objectives: a reduction in direct emissions from mineral fertiliser use, the re-diversification of cropping systems for a reduction in plant protection products, and an increase in soil organic carbon. It will also generate other benefits, whether nutritional (in line with the French nutrition-health programme), geopolitical/ strategic (a reduction in soya imports) or socio-economic (job creation in the agri-food industries).
  • Given the lack of competitiveness of French legumes compared to imports, investments need to simultaneously target five dimensions of the organisation of the sector: (1) stakeholder coordination and market structure in order to provide new outlets for production; (2) R&D in plant breeding, the development of agronomic solutions and farm advisory services; (3) agricultural equipment for the development of field crops, especially in organic farming, in line with the SNBC objectives for 2030 (26 % of land under organic farming); (4) industrial equipment for downstream collection/storage/processing; and (5) changes in consumer practices to (i) increase the proportion of legumes in diets, (ii) foster the “willingness to pay” for animal products for which the substitution of imported soya will lead to higher production costs.
  • The budget provided for in the plan falls short of tangible investment requirements for production/ processing and must be accompanied by two sets of complementary measures: market organisation measures to protect French supply chains, at least temporarily, from international competition and thereby enable their development; and incentive measures for private investments by stakeholders in the sectors (taxation, CAP aid, etc.), in order to foster a stable market environment in which economic actors feel that they can be competitive.

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