Here you have a couple of photos of a laboratory here in Orléans. They call it the Centre Technique Interprofessionel des Oléagineux Métropolitains. It is a laboratory focused on the production and improvement of rape (colza). They receive a small percentage on the price of rape seed that is sold by the farmers and they use it to do research into the production of rape. I like going there and chatting with the people and trying to understand what they do. It is a fine laboratory in an attractive park. The fact that there are a lot of good looking friendly women is irrelevant.
Really they have two activities. One is to assist the farmers by giving training sessions and technical support. At this time of year they receive a little packet of soil from all the colza farmers in the centre of
The other activity is research into how to better grow colza, make a more nutritious oil, how to treat the different diseases etc. etc.
Of course being English they ask me about Tony Blair’s opinion that growing food is an activity of the past. That soil pollution, energy consumption, nutrition are all subjects of the dark ages and not worthy of investment. They ask me why he believes that. I have to be honest and say that I am as mystified as they are.