The baguette was recently declared World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, Source: Unsplash

Toulouse feeds schoolkids with artisanal organic baguettes

Toulouse feeds schoolkids with artisanal organic baguettes

It’s one of the few large French cities to have its own agricultural estate, so zero kilometre food practices are only natural to implement

Since the beginning of November, the City of Toulouse has said no to refrigerated bread delivered to school canteens. Instead, fresh baguettes are delivered by an artisan baker from the Gloire district in the French city. What’s more, the wheat used in the making of the bread comes directly from the city’s own agricultural estate called Domaine de Candie.

The latter fact alone is remarkable because Toulouse is among the few large French cities to be in possession of agricultural operations. Additionally, the work done there to produce the harvest follows organic principles.

The baguette is the French cultural symbol par excellence

Given that recently the baguette and its preparation process were declared by UNESCO to be an intangible cultural heritage of global significance, it would be something of an affront to honour to keep feeding schoolkids in Toulouse with refrigerated bread. In a sense, having access to a fresh crunchy baguette is something akin to a human right in France.

This year alone, Domaine de Candie produced 102 tonnes of organic wheat, which was enough to make 300,000 of the 900,000 baguettes consumed each year by school children.

"Before, we sold wheat in a classic circuit chain, but the new idea is that it is the people of Toulouse who benefit directly (from the harvest)," explains Jean-Jacques Bolzan, deputy mayor in charge of food services in the city and "eating well". 

Domaine de Candie is actually one of the largest organic farms in Occitanie. It has been owned by the City of Toulouse since 1975, and apart from wheat, it also supplies school canteens with locally-grown lentils.

The estate’s history goes back 800 years. Domaine de Candie is also currently working on several educational projects that aim to introduce different audiences, such as school groups, to agricultural practices.



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