This blog post was originally published by a student studying abroad in Angers, France. The theme this summer is sustainability and the professors and students are exploring all the ways France is a leader in environmental conservation and sustainability. You can read more about the students’ time in France online at Sustainability in Angers, France.

Attending farmer’s markets is a part of the French (and European) lifestyle. Farmer’s markets have historically remained popular in France, and in the U.S they’ve only recently experienced a trending revival. Farmer’s markets in Angers may be less local than we are in Austin, but they are still way more popular. Any time that we go to our farmer’s market in Angers it is bustling and energetic. Farmer’s markets in Austin aren’t always, and they’re much smaller. There may be a lot of reasons for it, but I think that a major difference is space and accessibility. Cities and villages in France have designated spaces that are designed to attract crowds. Attending the farmer’s market in Angers is super convenient. Wherever someone may live, there is sure to be a market nearby. Additionally, almost every French town has a covered market. Typically they’re labeled “les Halles” and people pay for their stalls in these covered markets for more than just one week. Usually, you’ll find butchers from the region, gardeners with local produce, and people from other countries selling delicacies such as olives from Spain. Les Halles tend to carry more locally sourced products. Overall the tradition of outdoor markets in Angers (and all of France) has and will continue to boom, but whether they’ll continue the tradition of supporting local, rural farmers is less certain. To contrast, Austinites are killing the game as far as supporting our locally sourced products goes. Austin farmer’s markets seem to be steadily raking in more consumers and I think that it’s really easy to want to continue supporting local products when you meet the people behind it all right in their stalls. A lot of the farmers even offer tours or volunteer opportunities (like JBG and Richardson Farms) on their property. I love going to the SFC farmer’s market in Austin, but the one nearest to me is a 20-minute car ride away and I don’t always make it on time. As farmer’s markets gain popularity in Austin, I hope that more locations show up in neighborhoods or in nice open spaces (and I am not thinking of a parking lot). We have a great foundation in Austin and if we continue on the path we’re on now I think that we may be able to beat Angers (and the whole of France) at their own game.

Story and photos by Chloë Seminet ’20

Works Cited:
Chang, K. (2016, March 08). Behind The Scenes At France’s Rungis Market, The World’s Largest Wholesale Market. Retrieved from https://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/03/08/behind-the-scenes-at-frances-ru…
French markets – outdoor markets in France. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://about-france.com/tourism/french-markets.htm