Dynamics of the agri-food sector
An expanding and high-tech sector, agri-food comprises the agri-food industry, agricultural inputs and agro-resource crops linked to specific agro-industrial sectors (pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles, energy, etc.).
The agri-food industry, comprising 15,000 companies and 500,000 jobs in 2014, is one of the main drivers of the national economy. It is a major source of trade and investment flows between France and other countries, where it enjoys an excellent image. However, its potential could be exploited still further.
Beyond leading groups and some remarkable intermediate-size companies having attracted Chinese and Russian interest, this industry is primarily composed of SMEs which are considered less competitive than their counterparts in Europe with an under-developed export culture. In 2014, only two out of ten French companies had embraced it, compared with a ratio of eight to ten in Germany.
Regulatory, structural and cyclical constraints in France have undoubtedly led to an erosion of profitability and an inability to invest in innovation and exports, but the industry looks set to gain fresh momentum.
Addressed in its cross-cutting dimension, the law is an essential instrument for all agri-food stakeholders preparing for the future.