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the secrets of the salt road



Video length: 3 min.


Article written by

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J.Lonchampt, Y. Moine, O. Sauvayre

France 2

France Televisions

The Île de Ré is welcoming more and more salt workers to its salt marshes. This know-how is passed on to its new retrained workers. But the marshes are threatened by the rising waters.
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The salt harvest in the salt marshes of Île-de-Ré (Charente-Maritime) begins in a few months. This is the first season of Jean-Claude Langlois, a former roofer who came from Brittany to become Saunier. That day, he prepares his plots, becomes familiar with the tools and gestures, on the advice of his trainer. “I wanted to change, and then I arrived on the Ile de Ré. It happens sometimes, you’re stung by something, it’s like love. You look at someone, and then you’re in love”, He remembers looking at the marshes. Its trainer, Olivier Guillet, is delighted that this tradition can continue and continues to attract new workers.

This reconversion which has become trendy: there is no shortage of candidates. However, this know-how almost disappeared from the island in the 1980s. In 40 years, thanks to the creation of a cooperative, the number of producers has doubled. 600 hectares of marshes are shared between 100 salt workers. But this balance remains fragile: the dike that protects the marshes threatens to give way in the face of rising water levels.

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