France’s main farming union, the FNSEA, is supporting the first women’s Tour de France to raise awareness of agricultural professions

The first female Tour de France kicks off in Paris this week, and France’s national farmers’ federation (FNSEA) will be at the cycling race to deliver its message of “Ma nature, mon future, l’agriculture”.

The FNSEA’s float will be visible in the ‘publicity caravan’, which covers 1,029km of the race and serves as an entertaining primer for those awaiting the arrival of the cyclists.

The federation’s aim is to communicate about the job opportunities in the agriculture sector – jobs that “have meaning, a future and are accessible to all qualification levels,” it said.

The FNSEA is also eager to emphasise the role of women in the sector. “The feminisation of our profession is a major challenge,” it stated, “with women representing 27 per cent of farm bosses in France and 38 per cent of agricultural employees. The FNSEA is therefore backing the first female cycling event to highlight those who do French agriculture and to encourage others to join.”

The sector continues to face recruitment challenges, according to FNSEA chair Christiane Lambert, who stated at a press conference last month: “We are short of manpower.”

The FNSEA will also be promoting the profession during the men’s Tour de France from 1 July in Copenhagen to 24 July in Paris.