Prunes d’Agen: Local employment pays off

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Local employment makes it possible to value production and consumption within the same territory. Among the country’s best students, Bordeaux is one of the most locavore cities in France. Local consumption has gradually become a goal, to eat better, to reduce the environmental impact of importing products from other countries… But also to sustain the local economy, by supporting local producers. This view is even more true today, as the world goes through the COVID-19 crisis, which limits international trade. This period, which marks the year 2020, is more than ever an incentive to turn to proximity for employment and consumption.

Local employment at the heart of regional concerns

Consuming in a short circuit, sourcing from local producers is highlighted by many initiatives. In New Aquitaine, some productions are renowned for their quality, such as the Pruneaux d’Agen. This famous appellation of a fruit well known and appreciated by the French is produced and harvested in 6 departments of the region. These six producing departments (Lot-et-Garonne, Gironde, Dordogne, Tarn and Garonne, Gers and Lot) are recognised with a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). This is a sign of quality and control of production, which is one of the factors that encourages buying among consumers. In France, 200 products benefit from the IGP designation, including 33 fruits, vegetables or cereals. (1) The Pruneau d’Agen represents a significant share of local employment, with 939 producers spread over the different departments. They employ more than 10,000 people locally and continue their recruitment drive. (2)

They offer their consumers values that matter to them, through the production and marketing of their product. Reasoned cultivation, with the increasing use of organic, respects the soil and the quality of the product. This is a direct result of respect for the environment, which is at the heart of the region’s concerns, but also of cities such as Bordeaux. Indeed, the capital of New Aquitaine has been beginning its energy and environmental transition in recent years. These initiatives aim in particular to preserve the local biodiversity, welcomed by Bordeaux. To contribute, local beekeepers propose the installation of beehives on the roof of companies. An initiative that preserves pollination in urban areas, which seduces for example the Opéra National de Bordeaux… which “raises” 40,000 bees.

Promoting local production, a challenge

Bordeaux is known for its locavore commitment, its comfort of life… but also for its gastronomy. There are many restaurants in the city, including large, well-known establishments. Restaurants that, in order to stand out and offer quality products to their customers, rely on the local. The Fourth Wall, restaurant of Chef Philippe Etchebest, and its gastronomic guest table (a Michelin star) offers a menu evolving over the weeks, with local products only. In the same credo, the Bordeaux restaurant La Soupe au Caillou (3) offers only organic and vegetarian products, from producers within a radius of up to 250 km. Quality tables, which respect the values related to the local and reasoned culture. This is an advantage that is important to consumers who are sensitive to this mode of consumption.

Consumption is also found in households, with the purchase of food products in particular. There are platforms to order products within the Gironde, directly to the producer. (4) Through these systems, consumers can purchase quality products, and develop the short circuit. They can then go directly to the producer to pick up their order, or pick it up at defined collection points. The Drive Fermier is a concept born in Gironde in 2012, which offers consumers to recover their order at specific locations around Bordeaux. To date, four collection points are present in Eysines, Gradignan, Lormont and Bordeaux Centre. This new concept seduces, and allows many families to be able to eat local without moving. A notable advantage, good for the future and for consuming it locally…

Sources:

  1. JOFR of 26/06/2018 – Jean-Louis Joseph and Dominique Marmier – Official signs of quality and origin of food products
  2. Press release – Pruneau d’Agen – 18/08/2020
  3. http://lasoupeaucaillou.com/restaurant-vegetarien/
  4. Girondins producers – Farm sales, markets, AMAPs, producer stores in Gironde
  5. Gironde: Short circuits: consumers girondin!

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