Sustainable economic development – CS 2

The Value of Regional Nature Park Branding

a case study provided by Armorique Aspiring Geopark

The Regional Nature Park Values brand has more than 50 beneficiaries.

Owned by the French State, the Regional Nature Park Values brand is a recognition, by the Nature Parks, of the professionals and commercial enterprises that are daily committed to sustainable development, on three thematic axes:

  • the attachment to the territory,
  • the environment preservation, and
  • social cohesion.

It brings to any organization or company a recognition of its work, of its respectful inscription on its territory and environment, and confers a real added value in terms of image.

Launched in spring 2017 in the Armorique Geopark, this brand currently includes 53 professionals in sustainable tourism, responsible agriculture, and arts and crafts on the Geopark perimeter, being divided into the following providers:

  • tourist accommodation (17),
  • restaurants (2),
  • cultural sites (8),
  • activities structures (7),
  • sports leisure guides (5),
  • sea services (6),
  • producers of lamb meat (3), and
  • art and crafts (5).

Within the 54 French Regional Nature Parks as a whole this label represents more than 2,000 companies and 3,000 products and services.

The national terms of reference are structured around 20 general criteria applicable for all professional structures and enterprises, falling within the three values of the brand. In particular, energy consumption and energy reduction measures, supplying in local products, the impact of the activity on the environment, the training offered to the employees, and the welcoming of all the public are evaluated. Additional criteria complete the audit depending on the activity.

The agreements are signed-up for a period of five years and the professionals and enterprises agree to participate in meetings of the network, use the promotion tools of the brand and be ambassadors of the Geopark.

Brand Policy for Local Food Products

Local products (cheese, meat, seafood and beverages) are as numerous as the sales points in the area and can found at a range of local sustainable development outlets, including:

  • traditional on-farm sale,
  • local markets or producers (farmers) markets,
  • collective selling points, etc.

Three beneficiaries of the Regional Nature Park Values brand offer their lamb production in various places of the territory, directly or through restaurant owners and local shopkeepers. This contact, which characterises the “local food distribution channels”, is an opportunity for local inhabitants and visitors to discover these products, the know-how, and the inhabitants who are passionate about their jobs, while also being part of the current environmental concerns by incorporating sustainable development.

Further thoughts are being given to extend the brand over new products, particularly for beef, and medicinal and aromatic plants.

Promotional Activities and Actions

The strength of the Regional Nature Park Values brand lies in the pooling of the tools deployed for the beneficiaries, and the collective promotion the beneficiaries enjoy.

The success of the national operation “The Grand Picnic”, led by the French Regional Nature Park Federation, reveals the public interest for this type of event, offering any visitor the opportunity to discover, taste and savour local products.

The Armorique Geopark also took part in the 2019 European Artistic Crafts Days, promoting some of the brand beneficiaries during the event.

Particular attention is given to the leadership of the network. This includes thematic training courses, visits to the brand beneficiaries and the organisation of discovery outings on a regular basis.

The “Branded Day”, organized in 2018 by the Geopark brought together 35 participants, and the outings proposed in 2019 brought together some 20 people.

In the coming years, it is planned to organise the network of the beneficiaries, a market of the art craftsmen of the Regional Nature Park Values, and to create an educational tour with the network of professionals from the neighbouring Nature Park brand, that of Morbihan Gulf.

Below are some of the promotional documents which highlight the Regional Nature Park brand itself and some of the sustainable activities within the Armorique Geopark: