Why is there a mustard shortage in France?

After shortages in sunflower oil, French shoppers have also been finding it more and more difficult to find mustard on supermarket shelves. Why?

The nationwide shortage is due to a lack of mustard seeds that are needed to make this condiment.

Severe drought in Canada, poor harvests in France and the war in Ukraine have combined to reduce the supplies of mustard seeds available to producers.

Mustard crops

The price of mustard has shot up by 10% in France as a result, and some shops are struggling to restock jars.

Canada, where France imports many of its mustard seeds from, was hit by drought last year. The yield from the crops was much smaller than usual. Once again climate change is affecting our agriculture, with more and more heat in the atmosphere there is less moisture in the earth and the droughts are becoming worse.

Meanwhile in France domestic mustard seed harvests have been much lower than expected for three years, most recently due to a wet winter and cold spring.

French producers had originally hoped to import additional mustard seeds from Russia or Ukraine but since the invasion this has not been possible. The war has disrupted many global supplies for products.

According to the managing director of « La Reine de Dijon », the production is running 25-35% lower than normal. The market is completely empty.

Watch this video on droughts and climate change:

BBC news report on droughts and heatwaves

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