Living France - - Organic Farming -

There’s a lot more to farm­ing than watch­ing pigs play in the mud, so tak­ing this gi­ant leap is not to be taken lightly. Here's a few point­ers to get started.

The first port of call for find­ing your dream farm is Safer ( The web­site lists ru­ral prop­er­ties.

Once you’ve found a place that suits you, the next step is to visit the Cham­bres d’Agri­cul­ture. This public in­sti­tu­tion rep­re­sents the in­ter­ests of farm­ers. The na­tional web­site ( www.cham­bres-agri­cul­ in­cludes links to your near­est branch. There, depend­ing on the type of farm­ing you want to pur­sue, you can get help with reg­is­tra­tion and chep­tel (live­stock). It is a le­gal re­quire­ment to register any live­stock kept on your land. There are high fines for hav­ing un­tagged and un­reg­is­tered farm an­i­mals.

The farm­ing in­dus­try in France ben­e­fits from of­ten gen­er­ous sub­si­dies. In­for­ma­tion on who is en­ti­tled to them and how to ap­ply can be found at www.mes­de­marches.agri­cul­

You and your fam­ily’s health and med­i­cal cover is pro­vided by the MSA (Mu­tu­al­ité So­ciale Agri­cole –, the farm­ers’ health in­surer. Reg­is­tra­tion is rel­a­tively sim­ple and there are many dif­fer­ent lev­els of in­sur­ance cover.

For or­ganic farm­ers, cour­ses held at the Cham­bres d’Agri­cul­ture de­tail dif­fer­ent con­trol­ling bod­ies of­fer­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Each con­trol­ling body sends all the in­for­ma­tion you need about the rules and reg­u­la­tions of how to com­ply with or­ganic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and depend­ing on what your land was pre­vi­ously used for, or­ganic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can be ob­tained in as lit­tle as a year, with the usual wait­ing time around three years.

For those who want to sell their meat to the gen­eral public, you must con­tact the De­parte­ment Ser­vice San­i­taire, in­for­ma­tion about which can be found at www.agri­cul­

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