If Brest revolves around the sea, it also revolves around the earth. In Finistère, agriculture and livestock are naturally traditional activities. But do not be fooled! Here, tradition doesn’t mean set in their ways, Breton farmers make things happen. As seen with the creation of Groupama, Brittany Ferries and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa ...

The tip of Brittany benefits from the mild ocean climate. The winters are mild, the summers pleasant and the variations of temperature sufficiently moderate to allow a great variety of crops: palms and plants of the southern hemisphere bloom at the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest, the mimosas bloom in January and tomatoes and strawberries blush in Plougastel ... These conditions are favorable to many types of production: full-grown crops, organic farms, greenhouse crops ...

FOCUS: Organic farming and local distribution
In the rise of both the awakening of an ecological conscience among the general public and its aspirations to find authentic flavors as well as seeking to consume healthy products, the organic production methods have been able to find a place within the local agricultural sector. Formerly confined to the farmer’s markets, organic products today don’t only have a spot in all supermarkets in the Brest region but also their own supermarkets, opened by producer cooperatives. The Biocoop brand alone has seven sale locations in Brest, Saint Renan, Plougastel, Landerneau and Lesneven. Other initiatives to promote short distribution channels continue in parallel, such as that of the Prélude association that offers seasonal organic boxes to its subscribers, or that of   Babelicot that values surplus production of local market gardeners. Find these and many more initiatives from here on the portal

Innovation in agriculture and the agri-foodstuff started with the solidarity and sense of collective farmers that created powerful cooperatives  (Triskalia, Even, Sill, Savéol, Laïta…). They have in turn favored a wide diversification: dairy products, slaughtering and meat processing, salting, canning, ready meals, packaging, mechanization ...

Today, 400 small and medium-sized businesses work with large agribusiness groups. Savéol alone represents 150 produce growers and 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. In addition to its famous Plougastel strawberries, the producer group is the leading French producer of tomatoes. It is also a precursor to the use of beneficial insects for pollination and biological control to protect crops while reducing the use of pesticides. The entire agricultural sector of the territory represents 20% of private employment and 31% of establishments. Its international reach attracts significant investments from North America, Europe and Asia.

The need to constantly promote and modernize production led to the creation of the prominent School of Engineering in Agribusiness Brittany Atlantic  (ESIAB). It trains agronomists who explore and design the processes of tomorrow and develops research and development services that directly benefit companies in the West.

The digital boom has given a huge boost to the modernization of the sector by advancing the robotization of certain tasks (milking, feed, etc.), precision agriculture (such as fine analysis of plots per square meter, to determine the crops needs) and connected agriculture (traceability, monitoring, biometric data ...). Today, Brest's digital players include startups working on these innovative solutions and services (eg : Calopor, that offers a solution for managing energy on farms) and that participate in the strong involvement of Brest and its partners in the  #FoodTech component of the French Tech.

With this ecosystem bringing together producers, processors, universities, research laboratories, start-ups and equipment manufacturers, the Pays de Brest is developing, in particular, its expertise in the field of food safety, nutrition and marine biotechnology (valorization of marine microorganisms and algae, cosmetics) and bioinformatics, in connection with the Valorial competitiveness cluster.

FOCUS : Valorial
This agri-food competitiveness cluster with a national vocation is deployed in the west. At the heart of Europe's leading agri-food pool, Valorial's mission is to identify, set up and help collaborative and innovative research and development projects.

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