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LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON
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Economy

Viticulture is very much present in the Languedoc-Roussillon landscape. Large areas are covered with vineyards producing mainly red wine.

The farmers on the causses depend on sheep farming, especially for the milk and meat. The sheep's milk goes, among other things, to the Roquefort cheese factories. Goats are kept for their milk; cows mainly for meat and milk.

There is not much industry in this part of France. Due to the presence of universities in Montpellier, a number of modern industries have settled near the city, often linked to the service sector. Furthermore, the port of Sète is, after Marseille, the largest on the French part of the Mediterranean Sea and this also attracts a number of industries.

The metal industry is concentrated around Béziers and Narbonne. Near Lacrouzette and Burlats, the granite industry is of great importance to the local economy. Several thousand people earn their living with it. Mazamet is known for its wool industry.

Sète is the most important fishing port in the French part of the Mediterranean; Collioure has two anchovy factories. Listel has the largest vineyard in Europe with an area of 1300 ha. Saint-Chély-d'Apcher has a flourishing electronics and metal industry. Alès is an important industrial centre for metallurgy, chemistry and mechanics. The production of hats in the Aude diminished considerably when the wearing of hats went out of fashion. The hat industry used to be located in towns like Espéraza, Quillan, Couiza and Chalabre. There is now only one factory left in Montazels. The other factories now make shoes, furniture, foam plastic or decorative formica panels.

Ille-sur-Têt is an important centre for the fruit and vegetable trade. Millau is the glove city, as it still manufactures around 200,000 gloves a year. Today, the tanners of Millau also make clothes, shoes and leather goods. The most important horticultural areas are near the Rhone; in the Camargue rice is still cultivated on a limited scale. A type of olive that is only cultivated in the Languedoc is the Lucques de Bize, which has the shape of a half moon.

Near the town of Lodève, several uranium mines have been exploited since the 1980s. The uranium ore is mined in underground passages and in open pits. About a quarter of all known French reserves are in this area.

Salt has been extracted from the Salin de Midi since ancient times. The current salt flats, which are among the largest in Europe, cover a total area of 10,800 ha and 15,000 tonnes are produced during the salt extraction period. Between 400,000 and 500,000 tonnes of salt are stored.

Today, the tertiary sector (services, administration, health and especially tourism) provides the most income and employment (about 76% of the workforce).


Sources

Bongartz, M. / Languedoc-Roussillon
ANWB

Brutinot, L. / Languedoc-Roussillon
ANWB

Deggau, H. / Wandelgids Cevennen en Languedoc
ANWB

Encarta Encyclopedie

Graaf, G. de / Languedoc-Roussillon
ANWB

Hiddema, B. / Languedoc-Roussillon : Camargue, Cevennen
ANWB

Languedoc-Roussillon
Lannoo

Languedoc Roussillon : Gorges du Tarn, Cevennen, Carcassonne, Perpignan
Lannoo

Pijnenburg, H. / Cevennen, Languedoc
Gottmer/Becht

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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