• PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour ® •

From buckwheat grains to PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®

Buckwheat belongs to the Polygonaceae family, in the same way as sorrel and rhubarb. As opposed to what its name may lead you to believe, it is not a type of cereal. Yet its nutritional properties are extremely similar to those seen in wheat. It is of the Fagopyrum genus - a Latin name meaning that its grain looks like the fruit of the beech tree.

The "Harpe" buckwheat grain variety is the only one used by producers within the Blé Noir Tradition Bretagne association.

Buckwheat is an annual plant with branched reddish stems, and pointed heart-shaped leaves (resembling an upside-down heart), with its inflorescence in clusters of cymes.

It produces a large number of hermaphroditic pinky white flowers with no petals, which bloom and mature in staggered steps. Cross-fertilization is standard, but self-fertilisation is also possible.

Its fruit is a grey achene: a dry fruit only containing one triangular grain, with straight and clean edges. It does not open and can be entirely detached from the plant.

One of the nutritional properties of buckwheat is that it contains no gluten.

Before being savoured in delicious crêpes, galettes or batters, the certified buckwheat must first be turned into PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour ® by Breton millers, who inherited this age-old production and know-how, passed on from generation to generation.

Buckwheat crops

Thanks to its climate and the quality of its land, Brittany is ideal for growing this plant.

Sowed between May and June, Brittany's buckwheat (Blé Noir de Bretagne) is harvested in September and October. Its life cycle is simply governed by the rain and sunshine.

Brittany's buckwheat does not undergo any treatment, herbicides or phytosanitary products. Its natural resistance makes it the perfect candidate for organic farming.

Certified buckwheat is a natural and environmentally-friendly product, which remains untreated from grain to flour.

How is the "PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®" label obtained?

To obtain the "PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®" label, the certified buckwheat must comply with strict conditions regarding farming, storage and transformation into PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®. These conditions are set out in the IG/02/00 specifications.

Summary of the IG/02/00 specifications granting the "PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®" label

1 - A certified geographical production and transformation area for buckwheat grain: Historical Brittany
2 - Plots of land selected for their low nitrogen content: buckwheat does not consume a high level of nitrogen
3 - Clean crops, with no use of phytosanitary products
4 - An industry in which all stakeholders contractually agree to the Defence and Management Organisation (ODG)'s terms
5 - Mandatory follow-up of all member operators (internal and external checks)
6 - Qualitative monitoring of the product throughout the entire process
7 - Traceability from field to mill
8 - Specific rules regarding the varieties used, plot selection, sowing, crop monitoring, harvesting, transport prior to harvest, drying, sorting and manufacture of PGI Brittany-made buckwheat flour®


Defence and Management Organisation
Blé Noir Tradition Bretagne
Cométias - PA de Ronsouze
Tèl: +33 (0)2 97 73 35 68