France blames bad weather, war for dijon mustard shortage

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May 20 (UPI) — Supermarkets in France are reporting higher prices and shortages for dijon mustard fueled in part by poor crops last summer and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Mustard producers in France said seed production was down 50% in 2021. One of the largest producers in France, Reine de Dijon, told The Guardian that a so-called heat dome in Canada in July “really dried up the crops.”

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“In Burgundy, the region had a very wet winter and then three days of cold at the beginning of April last year, so we only harvested about 48% of expectations.

Most of the world’s dijon mustard is produced in the Burgundy region of France, but most of the seed is grown in southern Canada, Mashed reported.

Mundus Agri reported that Canada is expected to export about 78,000 metric tons of mustard seed from the 2021-22 growing season, about 41% lower than the 133,000 metric tons projected.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February has exacerbated the shortage. Both countries also grow mustard seeds, but with sanctions on Russia and fighting disrupting the normal course of daily life in Ukraine, exports have been limited.

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“The Ukraine, without being a big producer, represented a backup plan,” Luc Vandermaesen, managing director of Reine de Dijon, told French business magazine L’Usine Nouvelle.

“We were counting on it to make the connection with the next harvest, but this solution fell through.”

French news outlet Sud Ouest reported the price for mustard seeds has doubled compared to a year ago.