Podcast: French farmers post-Ukraine, fast fashion fallout, Life of Jesus

How French farmers are adapting since the war in Ukraine halted grain and seed exports. Why we need to buy fewer clothes if we want the fashion industry to be sustainable. And the voice of Ernest Renan – one of the big thinkers of 19th century France, famed for his biography of Jesus.

An impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a drop in grain exports around the world, as Ukraine was a major producer before the war. Farmers in France - Europe’s largest grain producer – have shifted their production to make up some of the difference. At the annual ‘Salon de l’Agriculture’ agriculture fair in the south of Paris, Laurent Rosso, director of the French vegetable oil and protein trade association, talks about how French grain farmers have increased their sunflower crops, for animal feed and cooking oil, and France is looking for self-sufficiency. And as the cost of wheat has increased, farmers might be discouraged planting other grains. Cédric Truphemus, a producer of petit epautre, or small spelt, in the high Alps, says not enough farmers in the region are planting, and cannot meet the demand. (Listen @1'15)

The fashion industry does not have great green credentials: not only is it responsible for at least four percent of global carbon emissions, the dyes and chemicals involved in garment-making are damaging to both the environment and to human health. Fashion shows, such as the recent Fashion Week in Paris, are the most visible part of the fashion industry, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. The big problem is the growth of 'ultra fast fashion', which floods the market with cheap garments with short shelf-lives. Catherine Dauriac, a fashion journalist, author and country coordinator of the global non-profit Fashion Revolution, talks about the urgent need to make fashion more sustainable. It begins with buying less but better and repairing the clothes we already have. (Listen @17'50)

France is marking the bi-centenary of the birth of historian and philosopher Ernest Renan. Renowned for works such as the "Life of Jesus" and "What is a nation?" his voice was recorded by Gustave Eiffel in 1891 in one of the earliest audio recordings in France. (Listen @12'00)

Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
9 Mar 2023 English France News

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