Why The Latest French Drought Is A Win For The Salt Industry

Between high temperature heatwaves and a lack of rainfall, France is facing their most devastating drought in history, reports The New York Times. The country has dealt with wildfires destroying acres of farmland and killing crops. The country is also under water restrictions, making it difficult for farmers to water crops in place of rain. Drinking water reserves have also reportedly dried up in several places.

Farmers are facing the consequences of this drought and crops are taking the hardest hit. The wine industry has already experienced difficulties across various regions, including Burgundy, France. Increased temperatures in France have made it hard for crops to thrive — but there is one product that has had a record harvest this year: salt. 

French salt is one of the finest and most sought-out salts in the world, according to Love Sea Salt. The site states that salt is used by chefs and foodies around the world.

Higher temperatures kill crops

While other parts of the country have been faced with water shortages and wild fires, salt farmers in the Guerande region have been profiting off the Fleur de Sel sea salt, which costs as much as $100 per kilogram, reports Reuters. Over the past ten years, farmers generally harvest around 1.3 tonnes of sea salt, but this year has nearly doubled the amount, at 2.5 tonnes.

To collect the salt, workers scrape the salt from the bottom of salt flats, without the use of any heavy machinery — the collection method has remained the same for over 400 years. Though the workload and the harvest has increased this year, some farmers reportedly worry that it is unsustainable and the salt flats may not stand up to intensive harvesting every year. For now, they are holding excess salt in reserves and it will be released over the next few years.