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French reservist sends 22,000 tins of Breton pâté to Ukrainian sailors

It is not the first time Hénaff pâté has been on a daring voyage - in 2016 it was sent to the International Space Station!

Thousands of cans of Hénaff pâté are about to turn up in Odesa, Ukraine Pic: embrun / Shutterstock

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been touring European capitals recently, trying to bolster support for its bid to drive Russian forces out of the country.

High on Kiev's list of demands are fighter jets.

It remains to be seen, however, where French pâté features among Ukraine’s priorities.

Nevertheless, Ukrainian sailors will soon receive more than 22,000 cans of the quintessential French treat.

That is thanks to French reservist officer Stéphane Audrand, who wanted to show solidarity with Ukraine’s military.

He had originally planned to send 3,000 tins of Hénaff pâté, produced in Brittany.

Mr Audrand launched a fundraising campaign but pulled in so much money he was able to send 22 848 cans.

The supplies were expected to arrive in the Ukrainian village of Uzhgorod near the Slovakian border on Wednesday (May 17) before being sent by convoy to the port city of Odesa, where large numbers of Ukrainian forces are stationed.

It is not the first daring voyage made by a can of Hénaff pâté, however – in 2016 some of the brand’s pork pâté was sent into space as part of a festive Christmas meal for ISS astronauts.

Pâté is ‘emblematic of French army rations’

Other than for its taste and its symbol as a staple of French cuisine, the pâté was chosen due to its association with French soldiers.

“Hénaff Pâté is a staple of French army rations,” said Mr Audrand of his decision to choose the product that has been in the kit of French soldiers for more than 100 years.

Mr Audrand no doubt has experience of consuming the pâté, as he is a reserve Marine officer in the French armed forces.  

The product is part of a French marine’s ration pack when out on patrol – partly due to its portability – and is almost entirely (96%) made up of pork reared in Brittany, a region famous for its attachments to the sea.

Pâté delivered for free

After hearing about the project, Jacques Duplessy wanted to help with the final – and most difficult – push.

As a volunteer of the charity Safe - which transports aid and supplies weekly to Ukraine as part of its efforts - he offered for the association to transport the goods for free.

“Humanitarian transport to Ukraine is expensive. Our association sends aid by truck every week to Ukraine, so we immediately offered to transport the pâté to Stéphane for free.”

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Humanitarian ‘ship for Ukraine’ leaves French port with €8m of aid

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