In North West France, farmers are destroying millions of cauliflowers. The wet spring and mild?
In North West France, farmers are destroying millions of cauliflowers. The wet spring and mild autumn brought a bumper crop, which meant low prices.
SYNOPSIS: Since autumn began, two million head of cauliflowers have been uprooted and left to rot. In one town alone, 50 tons were destroyed in one day. Throughout Brittany, many tons more are expected to be destroyed. Large loads have been carted away to be shipped to big cities.
From the St. Pol de Leon area, truck loads are being taken to Paris and given away by a charity organisation. But this eases the problem only slightly. The aggravation for the farmers was that too many were grown, and these ripened about a month too soon.
By the end of October, the crop will reach 20 million compared with 13 million two years ago. So cattle are dining on cauliflowers and millions more are being ploughed back as fertilisers. Prices are down to 70 centimes (about 14 cents) a head, compared with 1.87 francs (37 cents) last year. Farmers maintain they are losing 30-40 centimes(6-8 cents) a cauliflower, an uneconomic proposition that has prompted their drastic action.