France, Italy & Switzerland 2012
he MAB hosted its 5th international trip with a tour of France, Italy and Switzerland in August 2012. The tour focused on agriculture in the European Union.
Here's a quick recap of the trip:
The tour included stops at crop and cattle farms, dairies, cheese-making operations, wineries, and olive groves, as well as professional visits to agricultural and food related industries. Guided sightseeing tours were arranged along with free time to explore Rome and Paris.
Agriculture in the European Union France is the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter, after the United States, with more than 70% of its exports of wine, beverages, wheat, meat, and dairy products going to other EU countries. The high quality of the nation’s agricultural products contributes to the excellence of its famous cuisine.
The land and climate in Italy is well-suited for raising fruits, vegetables and grain crops. The northern part of Italy primarily produces grains, sugar beets, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the south specializes in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and durum wheat. Most farms are small, with the average being around seven hectares.
Switzerland is known as the land of cows, with three quarters of the farmed area devoted to meadows and pastures, as both climate and terrain make most of the country unsuitable for crops. Cereals and vegetables are limited to the lowlands.