If you ask the French to talk to you about some trade show, chances are that the first one that comes to mind is the Salon de l’Agriculture. Indeed, since 1964, and its first edition, the show has continued to gain importance. It is about the French countryside coming to Paris, the encounter of two worlds sometimes so far away.
And the attachment of the French to the SIA is for real. If it has become the rendezvous of politicians, the “Salon de l’Agri” is also a great family outing.
A unique show
We know that France is a country of agriculture. Only, it seems even more obvious to us during a visit to the show.
Agricultural unions, big agribusiness companies, but especially breeders, farmers, trainers, craftsmen … All the plurality of professions is represented.
There are dog competitions, where breeders come to present the most beautiful representatives of each breed. There are also equestrian or feline contests. But of course these exhibitors are not the most famous…
In the collective psyche, the agriculture show is above all a gigantic farm where sheep, cattle, and pigs intersect… but this year no poultry for sanitary reasons.
You must see the parade of the cows in the alleys, the gathering around a sow suckling piglets, nonchalant donkeys, sheep always in groups, etc … And after this walk, it’s about resting, and even eating.
And two halls are dedicated to agricultural products!
One is for products from abroad, Europe and elsewhere. But also for products coming from the overseas regions: rum, accras and other delights that come directly from across the world, but still from France.
The other hall highlights the products of metropolitan France (including Corsica). Producers, wholesalers or cooperatives are gathered by geographical area. A tour of France in a few hours: from the nougats of Montélimar, to the delicious “varoises” olive oils, through the poultry of Bresse and the Basque charcuterie. The biggest challenge to meet, almost impossible to achieve: not to buy anything, everything is so tempting.
And if you are lucky or have skills, you can participate in the Concours Agricole (founded in 1870) in order to elect the best products of the year.
And with more than 610,000 visitors this year, we can safely say “see you next year”: the Agriculture Show has many beautiful years ahead.