Prince de Bretagne is a fresh-produce specialist that is based in Brittany, western France. The company will be bringing the Roscoff pink onion, one of the region’s most defining vegetables, to the UK at the end of November 2012. The onions will arrive in the Etoile du Roy, a 47-metre long replica of a 1745 warship.
The Etoile du Roy will be moored at Saint Katharine Docks, near Tower Bridge in central London (UK) from 6 to 17 December, when both members of the trade and the public will be welcomed aboard to discover the Roscoff pink onion. Sponsors and institutional partners will also take part in this 10-day event on the river Thames.
Before arriving in London, the Etoile du Roy will also be docked on Jersey from 27 to 29 November and in Portsmouth from 30 November to 3 December in order to promote Prince de Bretagne’s pink onions from Roscoff.
The Roscoff onions from Brittany share a common history with the UK. In 1828, a French vegetable producer crossed the English Channel in order to sell his vegetables directly to the public. The pink onions from Roscoff were a success and soon many other growers began to follow suit, selling onions from door to door. The growers were nicknamed Johnnies, and this is where the image of bicycle-riding French onion sellers originated.
Numbers of onion-selling Johnnies reduced dramatically after the Second World War, but production has been saved by the efforts of the main growers who chose to join the Prince de Bretagne Group and sell under this brand. In 2009, a protected geographical indication (PGI) was created for Roscoff pink onions.
Today, some supermarkets, retailers and restaurants still use this product in the UK. However, given its past success, growers believe that there is a potential to seduce once more the British public on a large scale.
The Etoile du Roy is a replica of a privateer vessel, Grand Turk, which was seized by the British Royal Navy in 1746. The 47-metre long vessel has three masts, contains 310 barrels and, when armed with its 20 canons, would have needed 240 crew members. The Etoile du Roy features in various films, as well as in ITV series Hornblower, which was first broadcast in the UK in the 1990s.
The ship, now proudly owned by French cruise company Etoile Marine, has been turned into a magnificent sailing museum that allows the public to discover how seamen from the Nelson era lived.
About Prince de Bretagne
The Prince de Bretagne brand was created in 1970 to support the regional vegetables that are produced along the northern coast of Brittany, western France.
Today, six cooperatives and nearly 2,500 growers produce more than 600,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables per year under the Prince de Bretagne brand, growing more than 40 types of vegetables over 40,000 hectares. Most of the harvesting is manual and the majority of Prince de Bretagne produce is packed directly in the field before being shipped to 30 countries.
Prince de Bretagne’s Roscoff pink onions will be sailing from Brittany in western France to Saint Katharine Docks on the Thames, London (UK). The onions will be transported in the Etoile du Roy, which will be moored in both Jersey and Portsmouth before arriving in London.
Journalists are invited to a cocktail party aboard the Etoile du Roy in the evening of 11 December. Those who wish to attend, please RSVP to Katherine Woods, Press Officer at the French Trade Commission.
Schedule for the Etoile du Roy’s voyage:
23 November, Etoile du Roy arrives at the Bloscon Marina in Roscoff, France.
24 November, the vessel is loaded with Roscoff pink onions.
26 November, Etoile du Roy casts off for Jersey.
27 November, Etoile du Roy arrives at Saint Hélier Marina, Jersey.
29 November, Etoile du Roy casts off for Portsmouth.
30 November, Etoile du Roy arrives at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.
03 December, Etoile du Roy casts off for London.
06 December, Etoile du Roy arrives at Saint Katharine Docks, London.
17 December, Etoile du Roy casts off for Brittany.
22 December, Etoile du Roy arrives at its host marina, Saint Malo, France, where the vessel will be moored until New Year’s Eve.
For further information about Gunwharf Quays, please go to: http://www.gunwharf-
For further information about Saint Katharine Docks, please go to: http://www.skdocks.co.uk/
For further information about Etoile Marine, please go to: http://www.etoile-
For further information about Prince de Bretagne, please go to: http://www.princedebretagne-
For further information, please contact :
Quote ref. : FTPB3792
Ms Katherine WOODS - Press Officer
UBIFRANCE Press Office in London
Tel: +44 (0) 207 024 3640
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