French shallot exporter Pouliquen moves into new building

The French company Pouliquen has been marketing onions and other fresh vegetables from northern Brittany for 100 years. The company based in Cléder (Finistère) is a major player in the packaging of traditional shallots, but is also present in the fresh market in the form of onions and about twenty fresh vegetables. All products offered by the company are grown by breeders from Prince de Bretagne, of which Pouliquen is the official supplier.

© Franck Betermin

Last Saturday, July 2, Pouliquen celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special event attended by more than 300 employees, partners and customers. This special event was also the occasion to inaugurate the 500 m² building, which was built in 2020 and is fully dedicated to the development of the organic onion packaging and trading business. On this occasion, guests could visit the new building in small groups. An automation system was programmed to that day to demonstrate the operation of the various automation systems. Guests were also shown a short video in the sales area showing the company’s sales activities. Finally, the event was the perfect opportunity for Pouliquen to inform all those present that the company is now in possession of the CSR SME + mark following an audit conducted by Ecocert Environnement.

© Franck Betermin

CSR at the heart of business strategy
“At Pouliquen, we recently decided to work on 4 main lines: the human factor that we have put back in the heart of the company, employment and solidarity in our region, preservation of the environment and the guarantee of delivering quality products to the consumer,” explains Gérard Quillévéré , co-director of Pouliquen.

“As a company, we have a social responsibility. That is why we often work with local partners. Our growers are all located within a radius of 100 km from the company. We have great respect for this network concept, with the Prince of Brittany brand, but also with the “This was our position even before the corona crisis, and it has allowed us to guarantee the delivery of products to our customers.”

Gérard Quillévéré has always been concerned about the well-being of his staff. Therefore, there have been several improvements recently, both on the farms, especially through the installation of automation systems, and in the offices. A mentality that promotes respect as a fundamental value and which seems to convince employees as the average seniority is 15 years. For this purpose, improvements have recently been made both in the offices and on the farms, e.g. with installation of automation systems.

© Franck Betermin

In terms of the environment, Pouliquen recycles 95% of its organic waste thanks to a partnership with a local grower who has developed a methanation activity. Measures have also been taken to reduce plastic waste, which has saved 10 tonnes of waste since December 2021.

Pouliquen is also involved in various social associations, including Les Restos du cœur, to which an average of 12 tonnes of shallots and pink onions from Brittany are delivered each month to the Vannes charity depot. In total, there are approximately 24,000 products for the various recipients. Thanks to all these initiatives, Pouliquen has become the 191st company to receive the SME + brand. This brand is recognized throughout France and is intended for independent human-sized French companies operating ethically and responsibly.

© Franck Betermin

Customers in more than 20 countries
The Pouliquen was founded in 1917 by Roger Pouliquen, only 20 km from its current location. He was then 15 years old and started selling potatoes. In the early 1930s, he then turned to the trade in garlic and onions. The shallot was finally added to the range around 1975 and eventually became Pouliquen’s flagship product.

In 2021, the company with its 25 employees sold almost 11,000 tons of shallots and onions and 11,000 tons of other fresh vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, artichoke, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins.

© Franck Betermin

Development of an organic crop
Pouliquen has a strong desire to develop the biological activities. For this purpose, an extension of 500 m² for packaging organic onions was built in 2020, which was inaugurated on 2 July. The activity will start there at the end of 2022.

“Our upcoming projects are motivated by a desire to grow while respecting the relationships we have with our local partners, suppliers and carriers, and our commitment to CSR. Therefore, we have chosen to complement our current activity with the addition of a “packaging” is a branch of our organic offerings. Organic food must be available to everyone, and we must ensure that. In addition, it is important to support organic growers in their development, just as we have done with conventional growers, “explains Gérard Quillévéré.

© Franck Betermin

New colleagues
Since Gérard Quillévéré and Pascal Jaouen took over Pouliquen in 2002, the company has grown steadily and Pouliquen’s turnover has multiplied by 10. In a development logic and to have the resources to expand the organic offering, three new sales specialists join the company in September, bringing the number of employees up to 28.

For more information:
Gerard Quillevére
+33 2 98 19 51 00

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