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Emmanuel Macron calls for UNESCO status for French baguette

14 January 2018

Mass-produced imitations don't deserve to be called baguettes, French bakers say.

He said there are now 33,000 artisan bakeries across the country which employ 180,000 people.

Macron made the call after similar rallies by bakers from across France.

Now, with Mr Macron's declared support, the bid for UNESCO status is likely to begin in earnest.

The iconic French bread should be recognized by UNESCO as one of the world's cultural treasures and listed as "intangible heritage", France's President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

It took nearly a decade for Naples's pizzas to be recognised.

The bakers have been inspired by the success of Italy's Naples pizza, which was protected by the UN's cultural body past year.

Earlier Friday, Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakers, had asked Macron to support the group's bid to the United Nations agency "to protect the quality of traditional baguette" against "the increasing weight of big supermarkets and convenience stores in the retail of bread". "We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed", he told the group of master bakers during the meeting.

"I know our bakers, they saw the Neapolitans succeed in getting their pizza classified under UNESCO world heritage, and they said why not the baguette - and they are right!"

If accepted, the baguette would be in good company on Unesco's lists, which include cultural traditions such as: Summer solstice fire festivals in the Pyrenees, the Tango, Arabic coffee as a symbol of generosity and beer culture in Belgium.

Dominique Anract, the head of the national confederation of baking and pastry in France said that the baguette, which is made with flour, water, salt and yeast, should be given it's "rightful place" in world heritage. In 2010, the organization inscribed the "gastronomic meal of the French" to its list of intangible cultural heritage practices.

Emmanuel Macron calls for UNESCO status for French baguette