Since September 2020, fifteen bakeries in the Cher and Indre départements of France have been offering a baguette produced from a mix of wheat grains coming from a certified High Environmental Value farm: The Epi Toué baguette. (‘Epi Toué’ is a play on words coming from an expression in the local Berrichon language or dialect, which means roughly, “how are you?”).
Over several years, the farmers responsible for the wheat gradually adopted agro-ecological practices in order to reestablish natural soil fertility and to increase the resiliency of the farm. For example, different varieties of wheat are mixed in order to increase natural resistance to diseases and parasites, which limits the use of chemical products like fertilizers or pesticides.
The two farmers involved in the project, Quentin Pointereau and Bertrand Philippon, came together to come up with an idea to better showcase their farming techniques: Making a 100% locally produced baguette. They benefited from help and training put in place by local organizations like the chamber of commerce or the chamber of agriculture, as well as a special project for innovative agricultural projects called Georgia (which comes from the word for ‘agriculture’ in Greek).
Market studies, fabrication methods, and communication strategies were all tested to guarantee the success of the project, and in September 2020 the project was launched. Produced entirely locally, the Epi Toué baguette is the only locally produced baguette of the region prepared entirely from wheat coming from a High Environmental Value farm.