Chapter 7 The Ambiguities of French Mediterranean Agriculture: Images of the Multifunctional Agriculture to Mask Social Dumping?

Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between Old and New Paradigms

ISBN: 978-1-78190-597-5, eISBN: 978-1-78190-598-2

ISSN: 1057-1922

Publication date: 30 May 2013

Abstract

Which is the main characteristic of the French Mediterranean Agriculture (FMA)? The recognition of the multifunctionality of agriculture, supported by the institutions of the territorial development? Or the development of social dumping considered as a necessity by many institutions of the sector? To answer this question the analysis is based on three main sources of data: agricultural statistics, monographs and administrative reports. The results show that the structural diversity is still important in the FMA. A significant proportion of the farms have based their economic strategy on making the most of the multifunctionality of agriculture. Some have built real success stories. But this development path cannot guarantee the viability of a large range of holdings: the number of farm holdings in FMA has decreased by 27% since 2000 and 57% since 1988. Due to the specificities of the Mediterranean productions, the cost of labour is still considered as a major adjustment variable to secure farm income in the region. Many situations are reported where the situation of casual labour is concerning, in particular for migrant workers. However, the working conditions of temporary migrant workers remain invisible and the image of the multifunctional agriculture is put forward as a marketing asset by all types of actors. This image is misleading. It makes invisible, issues that are essential for the future. Thus, it generates knowledge gaps and leads to the depoliticization of debates on the development models of agriculture in masking the contradictions and the conflicts of interest that they generate.

Keywords

Citation

Laurent, C. (2013), "Chapter 7 The Ambiguities of French Mediterranean Agriculture: Images of the Multifunctional Agriculture to Mask Social Dumping?", Ortiz-Miranda, D., Moragues-Faus, A. and Arnalte-Alegre, E. (Ed.) Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between Old and New Paradigms (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 149-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-1922(2013)0000019009

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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