When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

A French Town Aims For Total Food Self-Sufficiency By 2020

Incroyables comestibles Albi
Incroyables comestibles Albi
Emilie Lopes

ALBI — During a walk through the heart of the cathedral city of Albi, fruits and vegetables seem to be planted everywhere. And for good reason. A year ago, the city was given the objective of attaining food self-sufficiency by 2020.

In concrete terms, the goal is to allow the 52,000 residents to feed themselves with food produced within a radius of 60 kilometers (37 miles). "We all share the same priorities today," says Jean-Michel Bouat, deputy mayor for sustainable development, urban agriculture, water and biodiversity. "Changing the mentality of consumers and working on distribution circuits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Producing locally guarantees healthy food for all."

Several measures have been put in place since. The city first wanted to set up producers in Canavières, an area with more than 170 acres and 15 minutes away from the city-center by bike. To date, the city owns just over 22 acres on which four local farmers who sell to markets are currently renting parcels of land. The two first years are free, and according to the results obtained, the parcel will subsequently be rented for 80 euros per year and per every 2.5 acres.

Jean-Gabriel Pélissou benefited from this measure. "For a long time I wanted to grow and sell my product but I didn't have enough money to get started. Thanks to the help of the city, it was possible. Here, everything is organic, but I want to go further." Pélissou, who works in permaculture and agroforestry, including trees, says he will have his first harvest next spring.

To raise awareness among inhabitants, many garden beds were installed in the center of the city, notably close to the famous cathedral or in the garden of the Saint-Salvi cloister. "The message to residents to help yourself," says Bouat.

Albi has been working with an association called Incredible Edible, which Jean-Gabriel Pélissou notes does well to highlight the value of the fruit of his work. "It's important, for example, that people know what a real tomato looks like without industrial production," he says. "They have to rediscover their fruits and vegetables."

It will be difficult.

This raising of awareness is also carried out in some 20 schools, where mini gardens have been created. "We work with teachers, parents, and leaders of sustainable development," says Bouat. "We have to start teaching the youngest. If, in January, they see tomatoes in the supermarket, they will ask questions because they know it's not the right season."

Next spring, the city will create its first self-sufficient market. The farmers selected will sign a charter, a kind of moral commitment to offer healthy and local products.

With all this work, will the city meet its goals for 2020? "It will be difficult," acknowledges concludes Jean-Michel Bouat. "We will not have enough pork for example, but plenty of milk and yogurt. But even if all our objectives will not be met, we will know that at the end of our mandate, we will have changed the patterns of consumption, of production, and more generally, we will have changed habits. And that's what is important."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest