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The drought also created an unintended winner. Record production



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The waves of heat and drought that have scorched France in recent weeks have also created an involuntary winner, the producers of sea salt in the Guerande region, in northwestern France, reports Reuters.

Sea salt with the protected designation of origin “Fleur de Sel de Guerande” is one of the most expensive types of salt on the world market, as it is sold at a price of over 100 dollars per kilogram on the US market.

As temperatures have risen in recent weeks and rain has been almost non-existent, seawater evaporation in the Guerande region has intensified, so sea salt production in the region has exploded.

“We are heading for record production,” said Francois Durand, who has been working in the salt marshes of Guerande for over 20 years. According to Durand, if in the last decade the production of sea salt stood at an average of 1.3 tons per year, in 2022 the production will double up to 2.5 tons.

Durand admitted that under these conditions he is one of the few short-term winners of climate change, while other parts of France face forest fires and a water crisis. “You can say that. Unfortunately. It is clearly something beneficial for us”, admitted Francois Durand.

The Guerande region in north-west France is famous for its variable Atlantic weather, but this year’s drought has meant 40 days of uninterrupted sunshine, so those who work in the salt marshes have had no time to rest.

“The workers are tired. We haven’t had enough rain to warrant a break,” says Mathilde Bergier, a sea salt producer who also owns a small local grocery store. Bergier is also worried about the risk that the intensive work pace this summer will not affect the structure of the marshes where the seawater evaporates.

At the end of this record season, sea salt producers are beginning to wonder what they will do with all that salt if dry weather becomes the norm. Several producers revealed to Reuters that they have enough reserves to cover several years. “Some have even stopped working this season,” Bergier said.