French baking confederation seeks World Heritage status for baguettes

As a response to what it deems to be a deterioration of quality in supermarket baguettes, France’s National Confederation of Baking and Pastry plans to meet with French President  Emmanuel Macron to enlist his help in getting the original French baguette World Heritage status on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The traditional French baguette is made using only four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water. That’s according to a 1993 government “bread decree” that sets the rules for what can be a baguette de tradition.

“When I see the quality of bread in supermarkets, it is impossible not to be indignant. The bread is frozen, it comes from who knows where, nothing is done according to the rules of the art [of breadmaking ],” says National Confederation of Baking and Pastry president Dominique Anract.

French bakers are fearful of the poor quality of bread throughout the country. They see World Heritage status as a way to improve the image of the profession with consumers and help them identify the right craft product.

“Today, there are 33,000 artisan bakeries, employing 180,000 people, who serve bread all over France. This territorial network is unique throughout the world, we must not lose it,” says Anract.