The value proposition offered by medFEL also lies in series of talks and discussions on the sector’s challenges. Over the space of two days, medFEL offers a programme dealing with the commitment of the fruit and vegetable sector to sustainable development goals.

Discover the pre-programme

Wednesday 26 April 

10.30am – European apricot crop forecast

Speakers – Bruno Darnaud (AOP apricots of France), Tomas Bosi (CSO Ferrara), Santiago Vazquez (Cooperativas Agroalimentarias).

2.00pm – Anticipation of melon plantations

Speakers –  Myriam Martineau (AIM director), Jérôme Jausseran (AIM communication manager), Marion Mispouillé and Rémi Javernaud (AIM animators).

3.30pm – “The climate challenge: agri-food sectors at the time of the agro-ecological transition” with Jean Viard 


A sociologist and associate director of research at CEVIPOF-CNRS, Jean Viard is a connoisseur of French society, particularly rural life and agricultural policies.

He will give us his view on how French agriculture will contribute to the agro-ecological transition through a special talk:
“Climate challenge: agri-food sectors in the era of agro-ecological transition”.

“The new challenge is global warming, the fight to win the battle against it. And I am convinced that we are going to win it”, he explained (France Inter, 30 October 2022). Although the observation is now shared by most people, opinions differ on the methods to be used to fight global warming.

This talk will be hosted by journalist Olivier Masbou.

5.00pm – Rethinking water management in a world in transition

Duration 45 mins – Hosted by Florence Rabut, Editor-in-chief of Végétable

Speakers – Nathalie Broussard (director of Agro-Ressources), Yvan Caballero, (hydrogeologist, BRGM), François Gontard (deputy director general BRL) and Jean-Michel Clerc (project manager Water Geosciences Risks AD’OCC).

With climate change and the context of agro-ecological transition, our communities and our agriculture are facing unprecedented challenges with regard to the rational use of water. Irrigation or the fight against frost are the subject of heated debates with diverging views. Yet irrigation is one of the ways to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Good management of the water cycle necessarily involves storing water in wetlands, soils, new generation lakes and groundwater, scientific experts have recalled. Debates also focus on the reuse of treated wastewater, a major issue for land-use development and management, and also on urgency of finding solutions to mobilise. So, what strong consensus can we rely on to rethink water management as a whole?

Thursday 27 April 

10.00am – What prospects for the organic market?

Duration 45 mins – Hosted by Florence Rabut, Editor-in-chief of Végétable

Speakers – Alexandra Farnos (organic market consultant), Nordine Arfaoui (director of UNI-VERT), Cédric Banelli (buyer for PROSAIN) and Vincent Martin (buyer of Fruits & Vegetables for NATURALIA).

In 2021, the value of organic food purchases fell by 1.3% compared to the previous year. This average masks significant disparities. In the fruit and vegetable sector, some products are struggling significantly, leading to famers converting away from organic in certain categories. Added to this is the inflationary backdrop placing an additional 7 million households in France in financial difficulty, in line with a European trend, given that on average an organic product is still more expensive than its conventional equivalent. In 2022, the upshot was a halt to alternative consumption, even if in the long term, organic remains on a strong trend (+15.5% growth in turnover between 2019 and 2022, 24% of baskets include at least one organic product, all products combined*). Consequently, how can consumers’ baskets regain an organic dynamic? The latest studies point to a stronger need for reassurance, and the need to reaffirm the fundamentals to assuage doubts as to the benefits of organic: more environmental, local, nutritional. Can the organic fruit and vegetable sector set an example in this area?

*NielsenIQ survey

11.00am – Putting value back into food: how to go about it?

Duration 45 mins – Hosted by Florence Rabut, Editor-in-chief of Végétable

Speakers – Catherine Baros (head of consumer and food service studies, CTIFL), Frédérick Basset (PERF-ALIM consultant), Thierry Mellenotte (director of PINK LADY EUROPE) and Olivier Gricourt (director of fruit and vegetable purchasing at AUCHAN), François Moulias (general director of COMPAGNIE DES AMANDES) and Denis Digel (market gardener and IFLA administrator: Interprofession Fruits & Vegetables of Alsace).

Our sector will have to come to terms with prolonged inflation, fuelled by production costs that are likely to remain high. Drilled all day long with worrisome discourse on “purchasing power”, citizen-consumers are hesitating, slowing down, and seem to be temporarily abandoning the purchase of segmentation products in a move “back to basics”. Upstream and downstream players have a huge responsibility not to stoke these concerns by talking about ‘prices and promotions’ rather than ‘value’. This situation raises the question of our sector’s power of persuasion: will we be able to reassert the value of food in society, i.e. (re)instil in consumers’ minds the notion that what they eat cannot be taken for granted, and that it has a value? The decline in certain productions and rising imports are indicators that should be of concern. What initiatives can there be to reverse the trend?

2.30pm – “Food sovereignty : how to better feed the world tomorrow” with Jean-Marie Séronie 

Duration 45 mins – Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at SOCOPAG

Jean-Marie Séronie is an agricultural engineer and chartered accountant and a member of the French Academy of Agriculture. He is currently in charge of the agricultural economics and policies section. He is also the author of “2041, l’odyssée paysanne pour la santé de l’Homme et de la planète”.

Jean-Marie Séronie will give a special talk on the subject: “Food sovereignty: how to better feed the world tomorrow?”.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has put the issue of food sovereignty back at the heart of the concerns of States and governments. This is particularly true in Europe, where the issue was overlooked. The consequences of climatic variations on agriculture are adding to the uncertainty. Is French agriculture well equipped to face this situation?

This talk will be hosted by journalist Olivier Masbou.

4.00pm – Energy: agrivoltaics, a solution for fruit and vegetable production?

Duration 45 mins – Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at SOCOPAG

Speakers – Christian Dupraz (Director of research in agroforestry and agrivoltaism at INRAE), Stéphanie-Anne Pinet (General Delegate of France Agrivoltaisme), Loïc Mairesse (Enoé) and André Bernard (Board member of France Agrivoltaïsme).

Energy bills are rising considerably for everyone: companies and individuals alike. The fruit and vegetable sectors are no exception to this situation. Even if, as hoped, this situation is temporary, consideration must be given to finding new sources of energy, if only from the point of view of the sustainability of production. Could agrivoltaics, which is currently being developed, with initial experiments in fruit and vegetables, be one of the solutions, while at the same time providing additional income for producers?

>> Rediscover the edition 2022.