Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Farms and Pharma, Castles and Cosmetics

Since 15 January this year our region is now officially Centre-Val de Loire. The region has been pushing for this change of name from the anonymous Centre for some time. It was a real disadvantage touristically because many overseas tourists assumed, understandably, that the famous chateau such as Chenonceau and Chambord and the UNESCO World Heritage area were in the region called Pays de la Loire. Centre was dull and touristically meaningless.

The Chateau of Amboise -- not in Pays de la Loire!
The Centre-Val de Loire region is made up of 6 départements (Indre et Loire, Loir et Cher, Eure et Loir, Indre, Loiret and Cher) and includes the old provinces of Touraine and Berry as well as the culturally related 'sub-provinces' of the Perche, the Sologne and the Brenne, which are the names many locals will use to indicate geographic locality.

Barley makes a beautiful crop in Centre-Val de Loire.
The region covers 39 151 km² and is bigger than Belgium (and a bit under half the size of Tasmania). There are 2 560 000 inhabitants with an average density of 65 people per square kilometre (Tasmania has just over half a million population and a density of 7 people per square kilometre). The gross regional product is €65 million (Tasmania's gross state product is around AU$22.5 million, or around €15.5 million).

Centre-Val de Loire is the biggest cereal producer in Europe, the biggest producer of medications in France and the biggest producer of cosmetics in France.

11 comments:

  1. And one of the largest ranges of locally produced wine in France!!
    Add that to the rest of the valley of the Loire and it is the largest range of types, styles and flavours!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of the best kept secrets of the region, but in terms of French wine sales, a mere drop in the ocean. A lot of wine tours completely ignore the Loire as it is not well known.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A mere drop... but the tastiest... imo!
    Ignore at your peril... or in this case... you don't know what you are missing!
    But, hey... it is all the more for us!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hopefully it will be good for your business too, although you already brand and market yourselves very well - no pun intended ;0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure we will see any direct effect, but it certainly makes it less confusing for visitors.

      Delete
  5. You're right, this does make sense. "Centre" always sounded horrible and also not really geographically correct either. Here they are talking about merging Languedoc-Roussillon with Midi-Pyrénées, which I'm afraid is much more controversial. It will make for one huge region, and the two regions have very different identities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was controversial too. Pays de Loire was adamant that the Loire was theirs. They've prevented the change for years, and managed to block it when it was proposed again last year. The Tourist Office got fed up and started using Val de Loire regardless, but actually I'm surprised to see it got through as the official regional name earlier this year.

      Delete
    2. It's Pays de la Loire, with the article, and it's the Loir-et-Cher department, named for the Loir (not the Loire) and the Cher rivers, which mark the department's north and south boundaries.

      Delete
    3. Quite right! Corrected now :-)

      Delete
    4. It's hard to explain why it's Pays de la Loire and Vallée de la Loire, but Val de Loire without the article. Same with Vallée du Cher but Val de Cher. Les mystères de la langue française...

      Delete
    5. Well if you can't explain it, what chance have I?!

      Delete