Today is the last day of the Salon de l’Agriculture, an event that, considering it’s about cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and the like, has had a lot of coverage on French news. So much so, in fact, that I attempted to find out why exactly this annual show is such a high-profile fixture in the French calendar.
Visiting the official website, I found out that “for the last half a century, the Paris International Agricultural Show has been the annual meeting place for all the key players of the agricultural world. It is the leading event of the sector, not only in France but all around the world.”
So there you go, it’s pretty important. However, I still wondered why the Salon de l’Agriculture qualified as a main news item nearly every day while it was running. But then I thought, any French people visiting or living in the UK might well wonder why, every May, some gardening event called the RHS Chelsea Flower Show gets so much coverage on the news.
Again, visiting the website shed some light on the reason why. Turns out the Chelsea Flower Show “has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. Once Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), it is still the most prestigious.” And so both events make headline news every year not only because they have been running for such a long time, but because they are prestigious events on an international as well as a national scale.
There is, of course, another reason why the Salon de l’Agriculture gets so much attention and it is one that, for the rest of the year, is arguably overlooked. This is the fact that, in spite of technological advancements and the highly sophisticated society in which we live, we are still dependent on agriculture. And for that reason, it’s probably a good thing that the “key players of the agricultural world” are able to enjoy two weeks of fame once a year.