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What is Macron’s ‘food cheque’ plan to boost healthier local produce?

Food cheques are set to be introduced after the election if the incumbent president wins

Healthy food with euros on a table

The food cheque is intended to help lower income households to access healthy food Pic: Marsan / Shutterstock

Presidential candidate and incumbent Emmanuel Macron has promised that food cheques (chèques alimentation) will be put in place in the coming months for millions of households if he is re-elected on April 24. 

The finer details of the cheques are yet to be revealed but they are intended to help around eight million lower-income families have better access to healthier, good quality and more local food.

The measure was first announced by Mr Macron in mid-December 2020, when speaking to the Citizens’ Climate Convention. 

Its introduction was confirmed legally in the climate law, la loi climat et résilience, which was voted for in Parliament in July 2021.

With less than a week to go until the final round of the presidential elections, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie confirmed on April 17 to France 3 that the cheque project would be developed “as soon as the election is over”, and would be worked on “during the year 2022”.

He said: "We have nearly eight million of our fellow citizens who have difficulty accessing local and good quality produce…so we must give them a boost to help them do so.”

When asked if plans to make healthier food more accessible to less well-off households could mean the government could do a U-turn on the “loi Egalim” (the law that ensures that shops cannot sell their products at a price that means producers and farmers cannot make a living), Mr Denormandie said: “We will never say that farmers should pay the price for people’s [lack of] buying power.”

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