Bohuskust FLAG organized a “tour d’huitres” in March, taking local aquaculture producers to visit FLAG territories in France – the country leading the way in European oyster production. The Swedish delegation spent five days meeting their French counterparts, with the aim of creating contacts for upcoming projects and discussing possible future cooperation.
The trip provided motivation to explore more use of an EU quality label, such as the “Indication Géographique Protégé” (IGP) – especially for Swedish oysters. A stop on the tour in Marennes Oléron FLAG’s territory allowed the group to learn how oyster producers in Oléron make the most of IGP to distinguish their products. In this area, they carry out spat production, open sea cultivation and pond style finish (fines de claires).
Exploring further, a meeting in West Normandy FLAG’s region with a French lady in charge of valorisation of local products and value chains led to a possible cooperation idea. She uses different labels, for example, “Made in Normandie” to hold local companies to certain standards. A Swedish aquaculture producer sees how, together with local and regional branding and marketing, this creates jobs and higher value from local products, and he would like to explore a collaboration.
The exchange of experiences was also beneficial to Saint Brieuc FLAG, who highlighted one of their projects trying to create a “mussel-safari product” similar to one Bohuskust FLAG has already taken part in. This was identified as another area of possible cooperation.
The technologies used in FLAG Thau’s region in the south of France were particularly interesting, as the tide is limited in the Swedish FLAG’s area as well. Additionally, tourism creates a real value added to the aquaculture producers in both regions.