yesterday 100% French, ratatouille is now massively imported

Baptiste Morin, edited by Romain Rouillard

A symbol of French cuisine, 100% French ratatouille is becoming increasingly rare. The massive import of aubergines, zucchinis or other peppers symbolizes the trade deficit in which France has been plunged for twenty years and whose figures for the month of September were unveiled on Tuesday.

A safe bet in French cuisine, endangered by the trade deficit that has affected France for twenty years and whose figures for the month of September were unveiled on Tuesday. Ratatouille is slowly but surely losing its tricolor label due to the massive importation of the ingredients needed to make it.

In 2021, France exported more than 430 million euros of tomatoes but imported nearly 700 million, mainly from Morocco. The deficit is roughly similar for onions but it is even greater for peppers and courgettes since France imported them for a value four to five times greater than exports.

Eggplant, a textbook case

But the palm of the deficit goes to the aubergines. Since theSpain, for the most part, France imported six times more in value than it exported. A situation that can be explained by the logic of globalization. “You would think that France would be able to produce them in the same way, but no, they are produced there at a lower cost,” explains economist Anne-Sophie Alsif.

In total, France exported these five vegetables for 580 million euros in 2021, but it imported more than 1.2 billion euros. France exports quality and imports quantity, which results in a trade deficit for ratatouille of 640 million euros.