The agriculture and agrifood sectors have long been a driving force for France’s international trade, with exports spurring growth in a sector that employs nearly 1.5 million people and generates 3.5% of the country’s GDP. However, our position has been weakened by new competitors and our trade performances have gradually deteriorated in recent years.
Jean-François Loiseau was appointed agriculture and agrifood sectors unifier in December 2018.
In 2017, the agriculture and agrifood sectors accounted for France’s third highest trade surplus at €5.5 billion. With a 5% market share in global trade, France is the sixth-largest global agrifood exporter, behind the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, China and Brazil. In terms of value, three-quarters of our exports are processed products (agricultural and agrifood products), while the remaining quarter is from unprocessed agricultural products. The surplus is also supported by wines and spirits, dairy products, cereals and meat.
With nearly 420,000 salaried employees, the agriculture and agrifood sectors are France’s top industrial employer. The most recent agricultural census found that France employs nearly one million agricultural workers. Agrifood exports are a clear driver of employment and growth. However, France’s trade performances in this sector have slowed in recent years. Only 25% of agriculture and agrifood businesses export, and 98% of companies in the sector are small and medium-sized enterprises.
Updated: February 2018