The glass is half full. On the left to approve a phrase: to enjoy, the French vineyard does not receive the vote with good air, this November 27 on the part of the European Commission, the community of the copper community. On the contrary, the commitment that has just been voted on provokes sighs of disappointment and not satisfaction in the hexagonal vineyard. As of February 1, 2019, European farmers in general, and French winemakers in particular, will see their use of the copper limit at 28 kilos per hectare for seven years. Or an annual rate of 4 kg per hectare per year with a smoothing of 7 years, when the current limit was 6 kg / ha / year in an average of five years.
Greeting in a statement « A balanced and pragmatic decision for producers, the protection of the environment and the health of consumers. », The Minister of Agriculture, Didier Guillaume,« complies with this decision, which is in line with the requests of France, in particular on the definition of thresholds on a multi-annual scale "If it can always seem a lesser evil, the absolute prohibition, a term for Brussels, or that the 4 kg / ha.an without softening for five years, proposed by the report * of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) , this dose does not satisfy the representatives of the French vineyard.
According to our statistics, we will leave 20% of French winemakers on the field. In the last five years, one in five winemakers exceeded 4 kg / ha / year. We are bad … " He summarized Thomas Montagne, the president of the Vignerons Indpendants de France (VIF) and the European Confederation of Independent Wine Growers (CEVI). Until the last moment, the Provencal winemaker defended the maintenance of 6 kg / ha / year, thinking in particular of the vineyards of Champagne, in the Atlantic region … And before the risks of braking in the conversions of the bio.
"2018 proved that it will not work"
"It's a very bad decision, the late blight of 2018 has shown that this system will not work." slice Bernard Farges, the president of the National Confederation of Wine Producers of AOC (CNAOC) and the European Federation of Origin Wines (EFOW). The winegrower of Bordeaux has never believed in the possibility of non-approval, regrets the loss of status quo : "The 6 kg / ha / year was a very good device that should be maintained as long as there were no viable and serious alternatives."
This dose "It's not necessarily what we wanted, but everyone has come to understand that we can not get out of chemicals by banning alternatives, even if copper is not the panacea." Sylvie Dulong, National Secretary of Viticulture of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) and member of the Office of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM Europe).
The Bordeaux winegrower is pleased that the French state is preparing a national plan on copper, according to the FNAB proposals. It will be announced at the beginning of 2019 and the Ministers of Agriculture, Economy, Environment and Health must carry this road map. "Viticulture must be present in this national plan." Thomas Mountain concludes. With the hope that the results of this French working group will open new ways and avoid deadlocks, or even deviations, that are on the horizon. Only this track remains to see the glass half full.
*: Asked by the experts, the models to calculate the environmental impact of copper must be reissued by the EFSA for the next approval in 2025.