But more than anything else, it unites people around a common cause - that of protecting the planet from industrial excesses and therefore, ultimately, of protecting ourselves. Le Pain des Fleurs has been deeply involved in this economic, ecological and human-centred venture for 20 years now. This is illustrated in this interview with Magali DUPUY D'UBY, our Brand Manager.
What is the raison d'être of the Le Pain des Fleurs brand?
‘I think that the raison d'être of the brand is, above all, to offer a great product and to contribute either directly or indirectly to the well-being of our consumers. Behind the apparent banality of offering a ‘great product’, there are twenty years of focus and a strong commitment to high standards in this regard, both in terms of a quality product and of providing nutrition.
As regards quality, for example, the challenge has been to extrude a gluten-free cereal (buckwheat) into crispbread for the very first time, giving it a completely new texture and flavour. Our laboratories have acquired real expertise in creating this unique and recognizable crunch from a wide range of new cereals and legumes.
In terms of nutrition, Le Pain des Fleurs has built its range of products around several key beliefs - namely that ingredients must only originate from organic farming and that the list of ingredients must be kept to a minimum so that there are no additives (no preservatives or colourings, and very little salt or sugar). In order to make this product as light and digestible as possible for everyone, we have also worked on ranges that are 100% gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free and completely free of all main allergens.’
Why offer crispbreads which are exclusively organic?
‘Le Pain des Fleurs’ and the organic movement is so much more than just a one-off, chance encounter. It is our heritage. Offering a ‘good product’ involves taking a keen, long-term interest from the farmer to the consumer and we never once considered straying from this ethos. In the opinion of all those who contributed to the emergence of the brand, it is the only option for sustainable food, and if the brand was a forerunner on this, our ambition is to take all manufacturers in our wake who still doubt that it is possible to make an extremely qualitative and economically viable product from organic ingredients.
We adhere to everything that meets the specifications of organic farming. This includes respect for the environment of course, as well as biodiversity and animal welfare. We are convinced that by offering organic products, we respect people by protecting their living environment - their land, the air they breathe, what they eat, of course, but also their jobs and those of their children. Organic is an integral part of the brand and remains an unchanging commitment.’
What are your commitments in terms of production and distribution?
Raw ingredients for our flagship products grown in France
‘Finding organic ingredients with the quality and in the necessary quantity when the brand was being launched was a challenge in its own right. Today, we still have to incorporate several varieties of cereal in our buckwheat crispbreads in order to obtain the optimal texture and taste.
Having overcome the difficulty of sourcing and securing our ingredients, we quickly moved on to improving our processes by searching out geographical proximity and sharing our vision with our stakeholders. This has naturally resulted in choosing areas of production which are close to our manufacturing location in the Haute-Loire, as well as the creation of medium- to long-term partnerships with producer organisations.
This is the case today for several of our raw materials which are sourced in whole or in part in France, such as buckwheat from the far west, rice from the Camargue, millet from the north-west and chickpeas and green lentils from the south-west. Several of the industries we use have been awarded the ‘ Biopartenaire’ accreditation and we wish to put people back at the heart of our trading.’
A ‘Bio Entreprise Durable’ accredited production centre
‘On the production side, we are committed to a progress-focused approach in terms of the sustainable development of our activities . Our production site for crispbreads is has been ‘Bio Entreprise Durable’ accredited since December 2019, and we are and will be regularly audited on all aspects of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to ensure our activity displays the best environmental, social and civic performance.’
Distribution in the Specialist Organic Shops network in France
‘Finally, in terms of distribution, we are committed to distributing 100% of our products to the network of Specialist Organic Shops in France. The independents and chains operating in this sector have introduced and popularised organic food in France and we have grown and evolved together. We want to continue along this path together in the search for local production and a fairer distribution of added value from the producer to the shelves. As for export distribution, that is carried out through working with local importers and distributors and we structure our presence by setting up subsidiaries. In our view, these links between family businesses consolidate quality organic farming from the producer to the consumer.’
Thank you, Magali!