Monday, 27 February 2017

Unmissable agricultural show

The 54th annual Salon de l'agriculture opened on 25th February in Paris. The Salon is always an unmissable event for leading politicians, even though most farmers are "en colere" at government and/or European policies.
"Imperial": best blond de Aquitaine?
The south west is an important producer of agricultural products and many will be there to display their wares, new ideas or just exchange views with fellow farmers. Winning best in show for their breeds or produce can be very valuable for farmers, as with young Mathieu Darre from Haute Garonne showing his prize bull. The show always attracts thousands of visitors, including Presidents of the republic.
President Chirac was well-known to enjoy eating his way round the show, Sarkozy swore at a protestor, Hollande is generally booed. This year all the candidates (except J-L Melenchon, who describes it as a  "big business" show) will be there, those wanting to protect the CAP from Brussels cuts; those wanting to limit imports; those hoping to promote green policies. All will find supporters and detractors.
Among the themes under discussion this year are the effects of the bird flu epidemics; the use of herbicides and pesticides on the land; the increasing conversion to organic ("bio") in both food and wine production and, of course, subsidies.
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