The Association Porc Montagne (APM) is a French association created in 1997 to bring together representatives of the mountain swine industry through professional colleges of the sector. We met Bruno Douniès, Coordinator of the association, to learn more about local, national and European activities of the APM and to understand the association’s connexions with Euromontana.
Euromontana : Can you introduce the Association Porc Montagne ?
Bruno : “The APM is an association that brings together the different actors of the mountain swine industry in France. About 150 breeders, 5 mountain pork slaughterhouses and a dozen local processing or packaging companies are involved with us in the promotion of our products. Our actions aim at improving the recognition of mountain pig farming in public policies, as there are 800 pig farmers in mountain areas who provide local processing industries and quality products.”
What are the association’s promotion activities?
“Our main objective is to promote and defend the interests of the actors of the sector, with two main axes. Firstly, we are working on the implementation of public policies to support the mountain swine sector, particularly for farmers, who we consider to be the weakest link of the pork production chain, for example through of the ICHN mechanism. Secondly, we carry out promotion actions of our mountain products. This is a crucial issue because pig farms in mountain areas are generally conventional farms which, because of their geographical location, have an above-average production cost. It is therefore essential to offset this cost by promoting our products, through the optional quality term “mountain product” but also with protected geographical indications and local markets. We also created collective brands, such as the “Origin mountain” brand, with specifications, quality controls and remuneration mode for involved breeders.”
What are the current priorities of the APM to promote mountain pig farming?
“The APM is currently working a lot on the promotion of our products since the legislative calendar lends itself to this. We want to obtain in France a better recognition of mountain products. Within the EGALIM law for example, local authorities will have to incorporate certain types of products into their raw material suppliers, such as GIs or organic foods. Mountain products were initially part of this quota’s method, but we just learned this is no longer the case. We are therefore working on the recognition of mountain areas as a source of sustainable products. The APM is also active in the next CAP negotiations. In France, the current agricultural policy takes pig farming in mountain areas into account with two types of existing aids within the ICHN mechanism. In 90% of cases, aids’ amounts are relatively low, so we hope that they will be maintained and increased in the post-2020 CAP in order to be more effective.”
Pig farming in mountain areas is a very specific sector. What is the added value of being a member of Euromontana for the APM?
The APM has been a member of Euromontana since 2009. Euromontana is our voice within the European Commission, as in 2012 and 2014 during the discussions on the delegated regulation on the optional quality term “mountain product”. Euromontana’s work also enables us to learn from others in the implementation of the mention. In France, we are wondering about the need to couple the “mountain product” quality term with PDOs. Thanks to Euromontana, we learned that Parmigiano Reggiano, one of the most renowned PDOs, is currently developing a mountain production segment and that Romania is leading initiatives, for example through the creation of a national logo. This helps us enriching our reflexion. In our monitoring work, Euromontana enables us to cross French borders by discovering the initiatives of other European actors.”
Download Bruno Douniès’ full interview in PDF!
25 March 2019