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The General Agricultural Competition Highlights France’s Legacy of Excellence

For over 150 years, the competition has been rewarding the best of French gastronomy. Every year, 7,000 tasters – both pros and amateurs – are mobilized to taste wines and regional specialties and to award medals to the very best ones.

Founded in 1870, the General Agricultural Competition (CGA) singles out the best products from France’s agricultural heritage, offering various French agri-food sectors a chance to shine. The final takes place during the annual Agriculture Fair.[1] At every edition, 17,000 wines are judged, as well as up to 5,100 other products (cheeses, charcuterie, beers, etc.) In 2022, 4,500 products divided into five main categories: wine, livestock, agri-food products, young professionals and eco-agricultural practices – received gold, silver or bronze medals. “With nearly 22,000 wines and other products competing, there is nothing comparable anywhere else in the world, in terms of the number and range of products in competition,” as the organizers of the competition, which is jointly owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the National Center for Farm Shows and Competitions, point out.

1,200 trained consumer jury members 

The medals grant recognition to farmers and artisans, and promise increased sales, “Now more than ever, the General Agricultural Competition matters to the hearts and minds of consumers looking for quality and reassurance. More than half of them have purchased at least one medal-winning product in the past 12 months,”[2] the organizers proudly proclaim.

In order to decide between them, nearly 7,000 jury members are mobilized every year, although they’re not all professionals. That’s why the CGA started offering training sessions all over France for all levels, from beginners to advanced, six years ago. “We train about a thousand consumer jury members for each edition,” the organizers explain. In 2022, more than 1,200 consumer jury members were trained all across France. 

At the 2022 edition, the CGA launched a new smartphone app that allows users to find all the medal-winning products, including information about them, on an interactive map.

[1] The 2023 edition will be held from February 25 to March 5 at Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles.

[2] An Opinion Way survey for the General Agricultural Competition, June 2015.