Agriculture and agrifood industries are one of France’s historic strengths in international trade. Exports are a crucial lever for a sector which accounts for more than 1 million jobs and 3.5% of French GDP. But France’s position is undermined by new competitors and our trade figures have gradually fallen, despite a recovery in the last two years.
Jean-François Loiseau was appointed unifier for the agrifood sector in December 2018.
In 2019, agriculture and agrifood were the sector with France’s third-largest trade surplus, standing at €7.8 billion. We currently have a 5% market share in global trade, as the sixth-largest agrifood exporter worldwide, after the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and China. Three quarters in value of our exports are made up of processed products, while the rest is accounted for by unprocessed agricultural products. The trade surplus is driven primarily by wines and spirits, dairy products, cereals and meat.
With more than 430,000 employees, the agrifood industries are also the leading French industrial employer, while agriculture employed 700,000 people in 2017. Agricultural and agrifood exports are therefore crucial for jobs and growth. Yet France’s trade figures in the sector have gradually worsened, despite a recovery in the last two years. Only 25% of agrifood companies export, in a sector made up 98% by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Updated: February 2020