Video. Around Lannion. No outlets for organic leeks

A great enthusiasm from the pupils of Pommerit Jaudy. ©Jean-Luc Gourdin

“I’d rather be there than in math class!” This Wednesday morning at Trevou-Treguignecnearly 60 middle school students aged 4and and 3and from the Lycée Pommerit invested a field of leeks from the EARL Saint-Guénolé, for a gleaning operation.

Solidarity

On this 2 hectare plotsome 50 tonnes of organic leeks are slated for destruction the next day, for lack of commercial outlets.

The current pickup will save a small part of it. Pierre, Yves and Mathieu Adam have chosen to make donation to the Restos du Coeur and the Food Bank in Lannion.

Leeks are still edible, but the market is not there. We should have harvested them at the beginning of April.

Peter Adam.

“Where do you put them, the things? » Armed with pitchforks and spades, the budding market gardeners enthusiastically uproot the vegetables, sort them, clean them and put them away in crates.

“This action is not part of their school curriculum, it’s all about altruistic solidarity on the part of the young people, all volunteers”, indicates Rose Gouevicthe maths teacher, who supervises the young people with Jérôme Le Gac, history-geography teacher, and Bruno Philippe, head of school life.

“We were warned two days ago.

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We are needed, here we go! It’s solidarity, ”continues the teacher, not embarrassed to see her students prefer vegetables to calculators.

A cloudy sky and a very mild temperature gave heart to the students
A cloudy sky and a very mild temperature gave heart to the students ©Jean-Luc Gourdin

Fall of the organic market

This good mood contrasts with the economic reality experienced by the farm. Specializing in the organic cultivation of vegetables, melons, roots and tubers, the agricultural business is having a difficult spring. 120 tonnes of leeks had already been destroyed the previous week.

The production has become unmarketable due to a falling market prices and “insufficient anticipation of events. From the fall, we felt it. The decline accelerated at the start of the year,” says Pierre Adam.

The causes are plural and come together. After a prosperous period, organic is no longer so popular.

Today, in a context where purchasing power is weak, consumers watch their spending more. And on the shelves, organic is always more expensive.

Peter Adam.
Once the day of gleaning is over, the rest of the leeks in the plot will be destroyed, much to the chagrin of the farmers.
Once the day of gleaning is over, the rest of the leeks in the plot will be destroyed, much to the chagrin of the farmers. ©Philippe Gestin

scissor effect

But, of the price paid in stores, only 15 to 20% goes to the producer. “We find it hard. Distributors have their margins, it’s normal. We need mass distribution to sell our production. But there should be a relationship between the price of production and consumption,” explains Pierre Adam.

Farming finds itself caught in a “scissors effect: our products are not sold and all our expenses increase. We see that the farmer is the only compressible link in the whole chain”.

While in the afternoon, volunteers from the Food Bank were going to take over from the middle school students, Pierre Adam recalls that the short circuit will not feed all city dwellers. This without “opposing the systems. Short circuit, cooperative, supermarkets: everyone has their place”.

Jean-Luc Gourdin and Philippe Gestin

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