Raw materials: “No artichoke for the artichoke”

    An artichoke in a supermarket, in Châtenay-Malabry (Hauts-de-Seine), May 31, 2023.

    Iartichoke is boiling hot. Friday, June 9, the green heads of the king vegetable fell en masse on the road in Lannion (Côtes-d’Armor). Nearly 70 tonnes of unsold items were thus dumped in front of the supermarket chains. No red caps on the horizon, no revolution, but a demonstration of Breton producers.

    They criticize the distributors for crushing the prices, evoking a price of 0.20 euro each, when it would be necessary, according to their calculations, to set it at 0.50 or even 0.60 euro, to guarantee a viable margin. No artichoke for the artichoke…

    Meanwhile, in Paris, metro users hanging around on the platform have time to admire the diva in large format. “Don’t forget the artichoke”, recalls the poster, and above all worry! For all those who imagine that cooking a vegetable takes too long, a cooking tip indicates that ten minutes in the microwave is enough. Something to add to frozen pizza… An advertisement by Prince de Bretagne.

    450 grams per year and per inhabitant

    Reconnecting with the customer is all the more important as the French are less and less inclined to strip the artichoke from their plate. Their consumption has fallen by 10% on average in five years and is limited to 450 grams per year and per inhabitant. However, this year, this vegetable has increased the volume. Until the cry of alarm.

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    To explain this headache of the artichoke, it is necessary to glue the sheets of the calendar. In 2022, Finistère did not escape the summer furnace. “We lost part of the harvest and the rest consisted only of small sizes. Breton production of meaty artichokes fell by 33%, to 11,632 tonnes, and that of small violets, by 37%, to 1,677 tonnes. We have been declared in drought calamity”says Christian Bernard, producer in Taulé (Finistère) and president of the Artichoke section of Prince de Bretagne.

    But, since then, the artichoke has lost the ball. Its disturbed cycle accelerated this spring. At the very time when the drought in the Pyrénées-Orientales, another production area, delayed the harvest. The collision between Breton and Roussillon vegetables has caused overproduction. And the artichoke was hit in the heart.

    Read also: On the plate: the purple artichoke

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