In the beginning, there was grain

Le grain au fil des saisons

Before being turned into baguettes, croissants, toasted flakes, beer, oil, semolina, and pasta, these products come from cereal plants: grains harvested from graminaceous crops, also known as grain crops. Over the centuries, farmers have invented new methods for improving the quality of this grain.

Grain farming throughout history: wheat, maize, rice, and millet

Grain crops have been cultivated throughout history all over the world. There is a huge variety of them! Each one delimitates a different geographical, gastronomic, and even cultural region: Wheat in the Middle East and then in Europe, maize in America, rice in Asia, and millet in Africa

Grain: Societies' key success factor

Grain farming coincides with the development of great civilisations, in fact, it was one of the first farming activities. By providing people with a consistent source of abundant food, grain enabled societies to become more populous and more complex.

The birth of grain farming

With the invention of agriculture, our ancestors learned to master artificial selection. Wild varieties were domesticated, like teosinte in America, which became maize; or einkorn, which became wheat; and then emmer, which developed into spelt. New varieties of grain were developed and farming methods evolved.

The benefits of grain in our diet

Nowadays, grain crops are no longer limited to their region of origin but they still make up the bulk of our diet. High in complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, proteins, and minerals, they are a key part of a balanced diet and represent an important source of energy. According to the FAO, at the start of the 21st century, grain provides a significant proportion (45%) of humanity's calories

In the face of current and future demographic growth, grain farming is more critical than ever to "nourishing people"!

The word "culture", which has a wider meaning around human activities, is derived from agriculture. We are civilised because we learned to cultivate the earth. (…) And the first truly global human practice was agriculture."


- Michel Serres, conference during the annual seminar of Farre (forum for sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture), 11 January 2006, Paris.