LBreton pancakes threatened by the conflict in Ukraine. Devastated or bombarded fields, workers gone to fight, ruined logistics: the Russian invasion strongly affected the grain harvest in Ukraine, crucial for the world food supply. Especially since the government has banned or limited the export of many food products, such as wheat, sugar, buckwheat, barley, oats, beef and poultry. In the case of Breton pancakes, it is the shortage of buckwheat that is rumbling.
As explained Le Figaro, Russia and Ukraine alone account for a third of world buckwheat exports. Another significant part of the world’s buckwheat comes from China. Asked by our colleagues, Jean Paulic, Chairman and CEO of the Paulic flour mill, in Morbihan, explains: “The price of buckwheat from China has become exorbitant with the rise in transport costs, while the countries of the East have stopped their exports because of the war in Ukraine. According to the daily, between 5,000 and 10,000 tonnes of buckwheat could be short of demand on the French market by the end of the year.
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A call to Breton producers
But, in Brittany, some see it as an opportunity to speed up local buckwheat production. An association responsible for implementing the specifications for the protected geographical indication (PGI) Flour of black wheat from Brittany is appealing: “In 2022, we need 1,500 additional hectares, i.e. around 700 producers. In a few weeks, 90 producers responded to the call. The period is also ideal: “Buckwheat is sown between May 15 and June 15, it’s time for farmers to find out and call us, says France 3 Christine Larsonneur, director of the association. Traditional Brittany buckwheat. We have technicians who can explain to them how to sow the seeds on warm soil so that the plant grows on its own and smothers the weeds”.