Pierre d’Arudy, protecting the territory and know-how
Approved on 12 November by INPI as a geographical indication, the Arudy Stone is one of the many treasures of the Pyrenees. Indeed, its colour and contrasting shades of grey are a pride of the territory and the industry. Thus, it is committed to protecting this piece of heritage. Indeed, it encompasses authentic know-how. Awarded by this quality label, it wishes to maintain and develop companies that are often established in rural areas.
The Stone of Arudy the jewels of the Pyrenees
The Arudy Stone is a stone used for generations thanks to its robustness and deep shades of grey. It is used for construction, roads and sculpture. This ore is mined in small rural villages in the region. The wild and peaceful environment allows the formation of very fine crystals. They are one of the characteristics of the stone. However, this natural treasure is increasingly popular in the territory. Indeed, more and more careers are trying to appropriate it. What makes this stone used for centuries special is its formation in this particular setting. But it is also the ancestral work of local craftsmen. In order to preserve this, the players in the sector are mobilizing.
Indeed, to protect this jewel the industry wants to secure the market. She wants to offer an authentic Arudy Stone. It also wants to energize the territory by protecting local family businesses. In 2020, there were 35 companies in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques (1). Most often small, they represent a 100groin of direct jobs.
Geographical indication, between origin, authenticity and traceability
For example, the players in the sector applied to INPI for geographical identification. The goal is to protect the product they are proud of. This fight of enthusiasts and lovers of stone was rewarded on November 12.
With this label, it is finally an opportunity for the players in the sector to secure this unique product with its peculiarities. It is also a way to offer consumers an authentic, quality product by ensuring its provenance. This wealth passed down from generations also energizes the tourism of the region but also slow tourism. For example, the Association Pyrene l’Ossaloise organized the biennials of the Pierre d’Arudy in 2019. A 3-week event to discover the history and secrets of stone work (2).
In order to regulate the geographical indication, the drafting of a specification is essential. Its aim is to preserve the interests of the sector. Thus, the companies marketing the Arudy Stone are controlled. The aim is to check whether they are complying with the current specifications. In addition, products marketed and labelled Pierre d’Arudy will have to include information on labelling. The products concerned are raw products such as blocks or rocking, semi-finished products such as slices. But also finished products for funeral, urban planning, building and decoration and for massive buildings and historical monuments. On the production side, it will have to be carried out in the geographical area defined in the approved specifications: Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées and part of the Landes.
Thus the Stone of Arudy is the wonder of the Atlantic Pyrenees but not only. Beyond its complex shades of grey, it encompasses a network of passionate actors. It also represents a unique know-how. The Arudy Stone is thus considered a product of excellence. We see new horizons opening up for the sector but also for the region that can benefit from radiation throughout the territory.
The Stone of Arudy – from New Aquitaine – officially protected, Natural Stone New Aquitaine, release of November 12, 2020.
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