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by Al Fisher Jr
Brittany Ferries is another French shipping company with an English name.
BAI, Bretagne-Angleterre-Irlande, was founded in 1972 by Alexis Gourvennec, a local farmers' trade-union leader, with the support of the local administration. The main goal of BAI was to export the agricultural products of northern Brittany, especially cauliflower, to the British Isles. There is a very ancient tradition of vegetable growing in the area called the green belt or the golden belt, around Morlaix, Roscoff and Saint-Pol-de-Léon. In the 1920s, young men from Roscoff migrated for months to England, where they sold onions from village to village. These Breton bikers were highly estimated and locally called "Johnnies", probably because several of them were named Jean. It is believed that 9,000 tons of onions were sold that way between 1920 and 1930.
In order to develop the agricultural exportations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Morlaix built in the 1970s a new deep-water port in Roscoff, which was the first port used by BAI. The company started with a few trucks, and was renamed Brittany Ferries in 1974.
The company is mostly owned by the local collectivities, that is the Region Bretagne, the departments and the municipalities. It is now a main element of the economical development of Brittany. Brittany Ferries has kept its initial freight cargo activity, purchasing in 1985 the Truckline company to group Worms. Truckline is now a subsidiary of Brittany Ferries, operating on the Coutances-Poole line and transporting only trucks.
In 2003, Brittany Ferries operated 7 ferries and was the second passenger carrier under the French flag, after the Société Nationale Corse Méditerranée. During the 2001-2002 season, the company transported 2.6 millions of passengers and 171,000 trucks. The lines served by the company are:
Source: ISEMAR (PDF document)
Ivan Sache, 11 December 2001
The flag shown on this page is based on the logotype of the company and requires confirmation.
Ivan Sache, 27 June 2004Red dog casino