We see more and more of them on the side of the roads. These upturned signs that appear at the entrance to towns have a very specific objective.

Since mid-November, an unusual phenomenon has struck many French towns and villages: road signs at the entrance and exit of towns are mysteriously turned upside down. The panels are generally turned over at night, when residents are sleeping, so as not to be seen but also to minimize inconvenience for citizens.

For motorists, the result is surprising at best and confusing at worst. And yet this fashion for upturned signs has met with a favorable response from certain mayors. On social networks, the hashtag

This action observed in various departments is in fact the work of the Young Farmers (JA) and the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA), who seek to alert the public and public authorities to the difficulties encountered by the sector agricultural. The campaign aims to highlight the inconsistency and disconnection of agricultural policies with the reality on the ground.

With the slogan “We walk on our heads”, farmers express their frustration in the face of “always more standards, restrictions and bans” which, according to them, penalize French agriculture. They criticize the stacking of rules, despite the numerous plans launched by the government to support the sector. These measures, including the organic plan, the protein plan, or even the viticulture plan, have not succeeded in reducing the regulatory burden weighing on them.

Farmers point to several major problems. Among them, the increase in taxes on phytosanitary products (fertilizers and pesticides), the high production costs of French cereals compared to those of neighboring countries, and the insufficient responses to climate change. There is also great concern about the future of French food sovereignty, with declining production and increasing imports.

Local issues are also highlighted. For example, the recent floods in Pas-de-Calais and the Somme, or the specific difficulties encountered in the Bordeaux vineyards. In the North, the issue of fallow land imposed by the European Union from 2024 is a major concern, directly impacting the region’s agricultural yield.

The Young Farmers of Savoie (JA 73), in particular, are calling for stronger controls on in-store labeling, highlighting unfair competition with products from abroad which are not subject to the same standards.

If this operation of inverted panels is largely symbolic, it is not without provoking contrasting reactions. Some, like the mayor of Saint-Molf, consider it “childish and stupid”, emphasizing the cost of the restoration for the municipalities. However, farmers remain determined to make their voices heard, organizing other forms of protests, such as tractor rallies or manure dumps near prefectures.