Paradoxically, the French massively support the farmers’ movement while demanding more standards, reveals a Cluster 17 survey for Le Point.

This might seem contradictory, even absurd. And yet, according to the Cluster 17 survey for Le Point published this Thursday, February 1, after ten days of farmers’ mobilization, 85% of French people questioned continue to largely support the farmers’ movement, while massively demanding (78%) a reduction in the use of pesticides by 50% by 2030. “Weird, weird… Tell me, did I say weird, weird? How strange,” said Louis Jouvet in the film that became cult of Marcel Carné.

More than this strangeness, it is above all the gap which has widened in recent decades between the French and their farmers that the investigation commissioned by Le Point highlights. For the weekly, it is clear that the population no longer knows its farmers. Worse still, the French would have an erroneous vision of their profession and, with it, their daily difficulties. Thus, the Cluster 17 survey reveals that 94% of French people surveyed believe that farmers are the toys “of industrialists and mass retailers”, 93% even affirming that they are considered neither more nor less as “victims of the lobbies of the agribusiness.

And while farmers are calling for fewer restrictive environmental standards from the blockades, judging that they are partly to blame for the drop in their production and thus their income, the population prefers to blame agribusiness while pleading for fewer pesticides and, for that matter, more organic farming. Organic farming, the products of which the French nevertheless shun. If those surveyed would like to see the threshold of “25% of land cultivated in organic agriculture” reached, the turnover in this sector has collapsed in recent years with inflation. The “French are mainly focused on purchasing power”, underlines political scientist Eddy Fougier, a specialist in the agricultural world, to Point, for whom “the gap between consumer discourse and their purchasing behavior, which favors less expensive imports, comes to light.”