Podcast: France's Covid trackers, flowers go local, Perrault the fairy godfather

Audio 31:22
Spotlight on France episode 54
Spotlight on France episode 54 © RFI

The young geeks revolutionising health data in France with Covidtracker. How the pandemic has boosted demand for home-grown flowers. And Charles Perrault, father of the fairy tale genre.


Some ten million people a month visit Covidtracker, which takes the government's official Covid data and presents it in an engaging and easy-to-digest way. Set up a year ago by Guillaume Rozier, a young data wiz, 40 volunteers now keep the site running. Elias Orphelin (@eorphelin), a 22-year old marketing analyst, was one of the first to join Rozier in the adventure. He talks about helping his country by "making data speak" and how the independent, apolitical nature of their platform has boosted public trust in the vaccination campaign.  (Listen @2'45'')

The Covid pandemic is transforming the French flower business. While the vast majority of flowers sold in France are imported from Holland, the first lockdown shut down transit routes and forced florists to turn to French growers. They're now seeing a boom in demand which they're struggling to meet. Florist Johanna Cacciamani, who sells only French flowers at her shop Fioretti, has seen her business grow and thrive during the pandemic. We accompany her to the Rungis wholesale market to buy flowers from local growers. (Listen @17'10'')

Charles Perrault wrote the classic version of many of the world's most famous fairy tales in his 1697 book Histoires ou contes du temps passé, Stories or tales of times gone by, sometimes known as Mother Goose tales. The father of the modern fairy tale, whose versions of Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella are still popular, died on 16 May 1703. (Listen @13'35'')

This episode was mixed by Cecile Pompeani.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Google podcasts (link here), Spotify (link here), or your favourite podcast app.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app