Guérande Salters

France - Salt

On the Guérande peninsula, near the border with Brittany, stretches an area of 2,000 hectares of salt pans, the northernmost in Europe. The first salt pans here date back to the third century BC. The tradition of salt production has been passed down through the centuries, and many ancient customs and production methods have been preserved. These include the use of the sea’s tides and a system of three basins for collecting the water, the small size of businesses and the absence of mechanization and chemicals.
From 1840 to 1960, the paludiers, as the Guérande salters are called, found themselves in a critical situation because of competition from rock and Mediterranean salt. This crisis was overcome by faith in the quality of their artisanal salt, and today the 185 salters are united in a thriving cooperative which directly manages the whole production chain, providing the regional and international market with products of recognized quality.
For two decades, the Univers-Sel association, formed by some of the Guérande salters, has been working in the mangrove zones of a handful of African countries to improve the production of salt and rice. The association’s work is based on a direct exchange of knowledge between salters from the Global North and the Global South, seeking to adapt ancient but simple techniques to the fragile African ecosystems.


Production Area
Guérande peninsula, Pays de la Loire region

Contacts

Coordinator
Alain Kasriel
Tel. +33 2 40 42 42 13 / + 33 6 82 14 79 08
univers-sel@wanadoo.fr
universsel.org