Difficult, after a so problematic year 2016, to see the arrival of a new year with a very positive look.
However, of all the situations, especially the most difficult ones, it is necessary to extract the positive aspects. It is in this way that a dynamic of progress can be launched or revived.
Every farmer in trouble has his own problems to solve, each situation is special. Each production has its own problematic, each company has its own history and its own difficulties and strengths.
I am lucky to be in a sector where the market remains positive, even if it is far from what one would have hoped for, and far from what it has been in the past.
I have just done an introspection for several months, analyzing as much as possible the functioning of the company, separating its strengths and weaknesses, and trying to propose and implement a solution to each problem.
It's easier said than done. This is essential when you are in a situation of great instability. Points of support must be sought.
In recent years, we have tried to improve productive and qualitative performance, sometimes taking risks that were not always well measured.
The year 2016 set the record straight as it reminded us that we are farmers, and that the vagaries of the weather are an integral part of our activity. Seeking to push performance to the limit, is just forgetting this fundamental point.
We must therefore remain humble and return to our values as farmers.
Everyone will have to find their own bases of stability. In our case, quality is paramount. Our market is centered on this essential criterion. On the basis of this observation, all that presents a qualitative risk jeopardizes the balance of the company.
And no one can forget that you can't always do everything on your own. Farmers are often used to handling everything alone. You need to know how to get help when you need it, especially when you need an external look. And this is almost always the case when things go wrong.
My resolutions for 2017 are therefore to return to more conservative technical criteria, which guarantee (supposing we can guarantee anything in agriculture) that our production is equal to what our customers expect of us, reducing the produced amount. I count on the results in fruit size and on its ability to meet the announced quality objectives, so that the market compensates for the reduction in production.
Agriculture in the developed world is going through very difficult times. Some know how to handle this situation. Others don't. Despair is evident among many farmers. It's impossible to count the abandonment of activities or the suicides of farmers who no longer know how to face their difficulties, who no longer feel able to face the unjustly contemptuous gaze of society, which nevertheless depends on them.
The bad reputation of agriculture with the public is unfair and based on false information. It is clear that some decision-makers are pushing in this direction for ideological reasons.
But the end will be sad. The food dependence of the most developed countries will be the likely consequence, starting with Europe.
But it is politically incorrect to talk about it. It is, it seems, preferable to sacrifice agriculture, rather than go against the good-thinking that seeks the demonization of the current diet. One more time, in human history, food has never been as safe as it is now, largely thanks to the efforts of farmers.
Good luck and good courage to all farmers.
Let's not be impressed by the many people who see us as polluters and poisoners.