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France: Winner of the record heat


Scorching heat for almost 40 days: the salt farmers of Brittany are happy about a record harvest of their precious salt from the sea, which is coveted worldwide. In the long term, however, the extraction of Fleur de Sel could be damaged.

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The sun is beating down hot and relentlessly on the salt marshes of the Guerande peninsula in Brittany – and has been without a break for almost 40 days.

While the rest of the country is suffering from record temperatures, they are currently a cause for celebration for salt farmer Francois Durand.

Francois Durand, Salzbauer

»We are approaching a record year.

At the moment we are harvesting 2.5 tons of salt per basin, compared to 1.3 tons over the past ten years.«

The Guerande region is known worldwide for the "Fleur de Sel", a particularly valuable salt that is obtained by hand.

Only on warm, windless summer days do salt crystals form on the water surface due to evaporation.

The current heat wave greatly favors the harvest in the so-called salt marshes.


"You are one of the few winners of climate change."

Francois Durand, Salzbauer

»Yes, you could say that – unfortunately.

When you see what's happening elsewhere: the fires, the lack of water everywhere.

But of course, that's good for us.«

Harvesting the »white gold« is hard work in the blazing sun.

The salt layers have to be carefully lifted off, the methods have hardly changed in 400 years.

Machines are never used, instead the strength and endurance of the workers is required.

Handwork that pays off: In the USA, a kilogram of fleur de sel currently sells for around 100 dollars.

Audrey Loyer, Worker

“Some manufacturers just stopped working this season.

Some are no longer harvesting, others have stopped the fleur de sel business because they have already met their target.«

But despite the hefty profits: Here, too, the farmers are skeptical as to whether the salt boom will continue in times of climate change.

Many suspect: in the long run, record harvests like this year could be more damaging to the fragile mud structures of the salt marshes.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-08

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