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There is a shortage of Dijon mustard in France

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Status: 30/07/2022 09:10

France suffers from an acute shortage of mustard. Because the grains for the yellow seasoning no longer come from domestic production, but from Canada – and there were bad harvests.

By Julia Borutta, ARD Studio Paris

In France, land of sauces and vinaigrettes, there is hardly any mustard left. Supermarket shelves are empty in many places. While conspiracy theorists spread the message online that the shortage is artificial because supermarkets are deliberately stocking mustard instead of selling it, the real reason is as mundane as it is dramatic: France gets 80% of its production needs Canadian mustard seeds. There was a severe drought there last year. Result: a miserable harvest of mustard.

basic mustard

In the few shops where you can still buy mustard, it is often rationed – at one or two glasses per person. Many restaurateurs are also in trouble. For example Pierre Grand-Girard in Douarnanez in Brittany. He offers fish and seafood in his restaurant and needs the mustard for the spicy mayonnaise traditionally served with the dishes. Grand-Girard called on his compatriots online not to hoard. In doing so, he triggered a wave of local solidarity: neighbors came to offer him their precious jars of mustard.

Debate has already erupted in France over whether it is necessary to ensure that such an important food staple as mustard is produced entirely in the country. The head of the agricultural union FNSEA, Christiane Lambert, recently clarified on the French television channel BFMTV that there is no short-term solution due to an undesirable general development: “We have largely given up on cultivating mustard plants here in France and we import them from Canada since the drought there and we have no more mustard. Until when? Until the next harvest.

The goal: an independent production

In France, each French person consumes an average of one kilo of mustard per year, and they are proud of the famous varieties of Burgundy mustard: with honey, blackcurrant, tarragon, good French mustard comes in all colors and all the flavours. But today, its price is also increasing, by around 14% in one year, according to the IRI Institute in Chambourcy, which specializes in market issues.

Luc Vandermaesen, president of the Moutarde de Bourgogne association, predicts that the situation will remain tense until 2024. The few mustard makers still producing in Burgundy are seeing their chance and now want to rapidly increase their mustard cultivation. “We want to triple our area to reach a total of 10,000 hectares,” Fabrice Génin of the agricultural union told Les Echos newspaper.

Processors also seem willing to pay more for mustard seed raw material in the future. Everything therefore points to a renaissance of mustard with bright yellow flowers in France. But until he brings a greater harvest, the French will continue to face starvation.

Source www.tagesschau.de

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