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European Biological Control Lab

  • 2000+ year old amphorae 2000+ year old amphorae These 2000+ year old amphorae recovered from the sea floor south of Montpellier in France (in the late 20th century) were used by the Greeks to transport high value horticultural products in the form of olive oil and wine. They were typically stacked low as sailing ship ballast in a wide range of craft.
  • farmers’ markets farmers’ markets The farmers’ markets offer local produce in winter, but supermarkets such as Intermarché (backdrop sign) gain most of the business, as can be seen from the lack of customers, despite competitive prices. Deliberate mis-labelling of the country of origin as from New Zealand still occurs for kiwifruit (clearly not exported from here).
  • farmers’ market, Sommières farmers’ market, Sommières Herbs for sale in the Saturday farmers’ market in Sommières, near Montpellier in the south of France, show how importantly French people take these ingredients.
  • Old friends Dr Claudio Ioriatti and Max Suckling Old friends Dr Claudio Ioriatti and Max Suckling Dr Claudio Ioriatti (left) and Max Suckling of PFR stand in front of the ancient abbey that houses one of the oldest European agricultural institutes (Istituto Agrario San Michele, allto Adige). The wine cellar deep below is 1000 years old, although the current stock is younger! Dr Ioriatti spent two months at Lincoln in the 1990s working on leafrollers on apples. The pair have cooperated on an invasive grape pest now in California, courtesy of USDA funding to New Zealand and Italy.
  • grapevine pruning near Montpellier grapevine pruning near Montpellier Moroccans do the seasonal contract labour, including grapevine pruning near Montpellier, but find the French climate pretty chilly. The regional minimum reached -16°C, and a drought lasted more than four months in winter 2012. Vineyards are being replanted with different varieties in an attempt to move upmarket for better returns.