Latest figures show that over nine million hectares of cereal crops (excluding sweet corn and silage) were cultivated in France. This harvest includes a large number of organic holdings or in conversion, for a production of 68 million tons of cereals. While a dozen types of cereals are cultivated in France, most of the production focuses on four: soft wheat, grain corn, barley, and durum wheat, enjoyed across the nation and worldwide. Indeed, France is an important player on the world cereal stage. In 2021, more than seven billion euros' worth of cereals were exported to the European Union and the rest of the world.
Soft wheat and barleyHistorically, France is the first producer and first exporter of soft wheat in the European Union and ranks fifth worldwide. On average, between 35 and 40 million tons of soft wheat are produced each year in the country, intended mainly for animal feed, bread making, and starch production. Approximately 5 million tons of soft wheat are processed into flour each year, of which the majority is used for bread-making. As almost half of the population eats bread daily, it is indeed necessary to grow soft wheat in the country.
Another significant cereal is barley. Around 10 million tons of barley are produced in France annually, which is useful as France is the leading producer of barley for malting in the European Union and the world's leading exporter of malt.