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France keen to increase production after mustard supply shortages

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By Louise Miner  & Ben Turner  with AFP
Brown mustard Seed
Brown mustard Seed   -   Copyright  OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP or licensors

French growers are being pushed to up their production of mustard seeds after the country's supermarkets suffered supply shortages of the condiment. 

A drought in Canada -- a major supplier of the seeds -- cut last year's harvest by about half. 

That has meant mustard lovers struggling to find a jar on the shelves of France's supermarkets.

Now there is a push for French producers to grow more. 

Fabrice Genin, president of the Association of Burgundy Mustard Seed Producers (APGMB), said the problems in Canada had revived the importance of the sector in the French region.

A call was launched in June for local producers to increase land devoted to growing the seeds from 4,000 hectares in 2022 to 10,000 next year. 

Producers are being offered €2.000 per tonne for 2023, against €900 last year.

"The shortage has also generated growth and a rise in prices, which has allowed us to motivate some farmers to sow this seed because that's not easy," said Luc Vandermaesen, managing director of Burgundy mustard association. 

"The mustard seed is hard to cultivate and it sometimes requires a lot of persistence to do so because we've had some bad years."