this time is the right one?


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Eust be defined by the end of 2021 to be debated at the beginning of 2022 and to be implemented from 2023, the new crop insurance system announced for the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, still remains unclear in its terms of application. Based on a recent report by Varenne agricole, we know that the system will operate in stages of damage: a first level with investment aid against hazards, then triggering of crop insurance from a threshold given crop loss, up to a level ” hard blow “public aid intervention from.

But the detail of the levels remains to be fixed, the announcements currently concerning the creation of a one-stop shop and the establishment of aid by national solidarity (with an annual budget of 600 million euros for hard knocks). “It is still too early at this stage to enter into this level of precision. The announcements are made and the refining of the device and its modalities are in progress. says one to the Ministry of Agriculture.


Trigger at 20% damage
While the vineyard combines the vagaries of the weather this trying 2021 vintage (frost, coulure, mildew, drought, fires, torrential rains, etc.), ” it is time [pour réussir cette réforme] ! It has to be done, there is urgency: the more we advance in the harvest, the more difficult the situations are” alert Jérôme Despey, the president of the specialized wine council of FranceAgriMer. For the Hérault winegrower, the insurance trigger rate must be 20% (the Varenne report suggests 25% for the vine) and that of the hard blow at 50% (it is 60% in the report). A position that seems to have consensus in the wine industry. “We are hoping for a 20% harvest insurance trigger threshold” says Jean-Marie Fabre, president of the Vignerons Indépendants de France. “The more attractive the system, the more it will work” summarizes Anne Haller, the director of the vine section of the Agricultural Cooperation.

staying first “excellent news for French agriculture”, the trigger thresholds remain to be defined » points out Jean-Michel Geeraert, the director of the agriculture and prevention market for Pacifica (Crédit Agricole Assurances), who reports “still many unknowns”but marks its “confidence in a real reform of crop insurance and an overhaul of the agricultural calamity regime for the benefit of the French farm”. The insurer specifies that the question of the thresholds of the new system is not “not specifically within the purview of insurers. It is also a question of budget allocation which will be defined by the public authorities: the lower the deductible, the greater the contribution to be subsidized. »

Olympic average

The wine sector intends to put insurers at the negotiating table, the question of the Olympic average being an urgent matter for Jean-Marie Fabre: “the Climate MultiRisk (MRC) product has limits that we all reach. We have lived through two to three years of strong hazards, the Olympic average will be very low compared to the average production! » For Jean-Michel Geeraert, “The Olympic average, considered unsuitable by some farmers, nevertheless remains a regulatory constraint. At Pacifica, our customers are free to adjust their deductible, which allows them to adapt the level of guaranteed return to their needs. »

In the insurance world, it seems more generally considered that the public authorities have positioned themselves not to modify the Olympic average, with the idea that it would be untenable to overestimate the production potential in relation to the harvest achieved. This could be summed up by the idea that crop insurance is not there to support yield potential. But according to Anne Haller, “It is less a position of the public authorities than a regulatory description of what exists. It is currently impossible legally to change the Olympic average. This is not why we should not think about the means of evolution. »


Insurer policy

Another subject of concern for the future formulated by Jean-Marie Fabre: a possible disengagement of insurers in the future concerning “the redemption of yield and price. If this is the case, the product will be almost inoperative by no longer approaching the reality of the hazards for each operator. » This question is a matter of insurance policy, is surprised Jean-Michel Geeraert, who reports that “At Pacifica, our customers are free to adjust their deductible. With our customers, we adapt the level of deductible to the self-insurance capacity of the operation. »

Pricing pressures

Among the other subjects to be studied for the new crop insurance, Anne Haller points to the need to finance the prevention of climatic risks (“the priority is to avoid losing volumes and markets”) and to take into account winemaking costs (lack of input, under study for the next National Aid Plan). Another challenge is to manage the transition period from one system to another Anne Haller alert: “we feel a tension on pricing [pour 2022]. It is not wise that we set ourselves the ambition of renovating insurance while diverting operators from the old formula. Joint support solutions must be found with insurers and public authorities for the upcoming transition period. »


+15 to +25% of contributions in 2022


“2021 is a catastrophic year for our farmers and, consequently, for the technical results of crop insurance” indicates Jean-Michel Geeraert, who counts on “an inevitable increase in contributions” in 2022, between +15 and +25%, “even more for certain specific cases”. The insurer states that “These increases in contributions are the consequence of the poor results recorded each year since 2016. There is no doubt that farmers will make the calculation between the cost of their contribution net of subsidy and the compensation paid over the last six years. But let’s not lose sight of the objective, which is to secure the French farm, which must go through the combination of prevention, protection and insurance elements. »

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