Postcard from... Finistère
Using the huge swathes of green seaweed that drift on to Brittany’s coastline each summer for agricultural compost is a long-standing tradition in France’s most north-westerly region.
Seaweed has added desirability as it costs nothing. But while its cost may be non-existent, it has a major drawback: the rank reek of rotting salty vegetation can carry for miles and is none too pleasant for holiday- makers or locals.
But salvation is at hand, according to a prominently placed half-page article in local newspaper Ouest-France, which indicates there has been a breakthrough.
For the first time ever a factory has been built in the region which can process the seaweed in hermetically sealed containers: hence no penetrating pong for locals to put up with, or as the local government spokesman Frank Ysnel triumphantly put it in his best public relations speak: “We have hugely reduced the olfactory unpleasantness.”
The Fouesnant factory, in the picturesque department of Finistère, has also increased its production of seaweed fertiliser from 12,500 tons to 20,000 tons a year, all of which is distributed free to farmers in a nine-mile radius.
“It’s not the most attractive fertiliser because it contains less organic matter,” Ysnel told Ouest-France.
The cost to the public coffers is €45 euros a ton. But with a smell-free label now attached to the fertiliser, in an area which relies heavily on tourism, it may ultimately be cheap at the price.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
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