Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching further and further into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

France

French ad campaign tries to make farming hip

©

Video by Gulliver CRAGG

Text by Gulliver CRAGG

Latest update : 2009-02-24

A punked-out sheep, a shopaholic pig, a hip-hop cow… France’s farmers are desperate to attract new recruits.

Also see Gulliver Cragg's report "World's biggest farming fair opens in Paris" 
and
"Sarkozy honours annual cow-patting tradition"

 

Unemployment in France recently passed the symbolic two million mark. With the global economic crisis biting hard, firms across the spectrum are trying to cut costs and shed workers - except in one domain: agriculture.

 

Despite the soaring unemployment, 21 percent of farmers say they have difficulty finding enough staff. The number rises to 37 percent if you’re talking about qualified staff – but farming is one sector where there are still plenty of unskilled jobs. Four thousand five hundred positions need to be filled each year, that’s without taking into account the estimated 900,000 seasonable jobs the sector offers – or all the opportunities in auxiliary fields, such as the sale and maintenance of farm machinery.

 

So now government and trade unions alike are trying to do something about it. To coincide with the Paris Agriculture Fair, there’s an advertising campaign entitled “Farming: fashionable work” (“L’agriculture: des métiers à la mode”). It features such appealing images as a hip-hop cow, a rocking sheep, and a shopaholic pig. To many, it’s ridiculous. But the FNSEA farming union believes this is just what is needed to help farming shake off its image as being old-fashioned, hard work for dunces.

 

The problem is, says Michel Marquet of ANEFA, the agency for employment and training in agriculture, that farming is hard work. He says recruiting people for seasonable jobs in his orchard is particularly hard. “Picking an apple is always going to be picking an apple”, he concedes, “and when they arrive in early September, sometimes it’s pouring with rain and at other times it’s scorching.” This was a welcome concession – at the recruitment stands at the fair, the standard line is that farming is now a highly skilled, modern profession. Not for everyone! Marquet says the solution, though, is to make sure seasonal work can be a springboard to better things.

 

At the employer end, there’s also a lack of personnel. When French farmers retire or sell up, only half of them manage to pass their farm on as a going, independent concern. The figures are improving though, says Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier, thanks in part to state aid for farming start-ups. We met him at the Young Farmers union stand, under a huge banner saying “Demain je serai paysan!” One is tempted to translate that as “Tomorrow, I shall be a peasant!” though the term doesn’t have negative connotations in French, as it does in English.

 

All the same, it was amusing to see Barnier and then Prime Minister François Fillon trying on the “Tomorrow I shall be a peasant”. I can imagine the pictures will resurface in some satirical journal someday.
 

www.metiersdelagriculture.fr/

Date created : 2009-02-24

Comments

COMMENT(S)