Belgium is also considering legislation on price formation and quotas

Flemish Agriculture Minister Jo Bourns is open to the idea of a legal regulation for food prices and production agreements, comparable to the French Egalim laws. The minister stated this in a plenary debate about the farmers' protests, which are also taking place in Belgium.

In France, a legal regulation for food prices and production agreements has existed for several years, which is intended to limit the dominant position of supermarkets and to guarantee farmers a fair income. The Flemish Greens also want to introduce this approach in Belgium.

The Egalim laws were introduced in 2018 under President Macron. These laws stipulate, among other things, that buyers must at least cover the farmer's production costs. The resale of agricultural products at a loss ('price stunts') is also subject to strict regulations in France to prevent price wars between supermarkets.

Minister Bourns indicated that he wants to investigate the possibilities for such an arrangement. He will consult with various stakeholders about this, including farmer organizations and supermarkets. Bourns acknowledged the challenges many farmers face and emphasized the importance of fair compensation for their work.

Groen's proposal is widely supported by various political parties. The Flemish government party CD&V is also open to certain ideas from the French model. The discussion about fair prices for farmers is not new in Belgium either. In recent years there have been several farmer protests, with farmers expressing their dissatisfaction with the low prices they receive for their products. 

In other EU countries, there are also regular calls for chain agreements within food production to ensure that the prices that farmers receive for their agricultural products are not only determined by mutual agreements between the commodity trade and the large supermarket groups.

Groen's proposal to follow the French model is seen as a possible solution to these problems. By introducing a legal regulation for food prices and production agreements, an attempt can be made to restore the balance of power in the food chain and provide farmers with a fairer income.

There are also calls in the regional parliament of Wallonia to follow France's example. The French-speaking socialists have prepared a bill in which they want to give farmers more control over the prices they receive for their products.

The PS is asking for emergency treatment so that the debates can start after the spring break. In any case, the timing is tight, as parliament is dissolved ahead of the June 9 elections.