Asking me the question does not please me, believe me. I’m as chauvinistic as it gets and I love to knock the strangers off their feet by making a list of all the things that are better at home than elsewhere: cheese, wine, perfume, TGV and triple-layer toilet paper available in eighteen colors.
But I’m asking myself the same question because I’m brave and I face adversity with fortitude, like the last legionnaire still standing in Cameron: is French agriculture lame?
Yes, I know, the farmers of our sweet Gaul get up early, go to bed late, work like brutes, never take a vacation and ride in Dacia Sandero. Their life is super hard, between frost in the winter, drought in the summer and the time change that stresses the milkmaids twice a year. Not to mention the zadists who come to camp in their plots to prevent them from digging holes to put water in.
But all the same, in the old days, things were clear and the cows were well guarded: the Germans were the best in Mercedes and we were the best in potatoes. Ploughing and grazing were our udders, the earth did not lie, blah blah blah. And now everything has changed, the Teutons continue to be strong in big cars, but they also carve us croupiers in garlic sausage and chicken legs. Even the Dutch make us blush like tomatoes and the Spaniards bring back their strawberries.
As Europe’s leading agricultural estate, and the world’s second largest, we produce less and less well than countries three times smaller. The first to benefit from the CAP windfall, our farmers are still on minimum wage in their shacks with unplastered walls and corrugated iron roofs, while their British counterparts are playing gentleman-farmers in tweed jackets and Range Rovers in their Victorian mansions with swimming pools and tennis courts.
If it was for a good cause, because they were virtuous and produced only beautiful and organic products… But no, not at all, tiny Denmark exports three times as much “organic” food as we do and we consume almost as much tampered pesticides and fertilizers as the nasty Americans!
Do they lack political relays, compassion in the bays of the national palaces, our harsh laborers? One can doubt it, seeing them crumbling under exceptional subsidies every time they make a mess to make the most dynamic curds of the 9-3 pale with envy, building mountains of manure in front of a prefecture here and there…
Okay, but I’m not going to answer the question. I’ll let you do it in outraged comments as usual.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)