Making long-term commitment with local producers
What are your current sourcing priorities?
Jérôme Velin Our mission is to serve healthy, tasty and sustainable meals. Our guests, therefore, expect fresh, local, labeled, seasonal and home-cooked products. They want to eat good, healthy meals, and be assured that the products they consume are respectful of people and the environment. As such, for several years, we have been implementing numerous initiatives to increase the share of our responsible purchases. In 2020, more than 35% of our fresh fruit and vegetable supplies were responsible, that is to say either organic or labeled. For example, 100% of the fresh poultry served by Elior France is of French origin and more than 500 local bakers supply our restaurants with freshly-baked bread. We also want to provide our guests with greater transparency regarding the origin of products.
Our goal is to further expand our regional basin supply network so that we can offer ever more fresh, seasonal, quality and local products.
Antoine Laudet We want to participate more actively with our customers in energizing the areas where our restaurants are located. As a local caterer, we have a responsibility to our customers, namely to ensure that, through our local purchases, our restaurants, our teams and our guests have an ever more positive impact on the agricultural and economic world around them.
Through our local purchases, our restaurants, our teams and our guests have an ever more positive impact on the agricultural and economic world around them.
Antoine Laudet, local procurement officer at Elior France
Concretely, how do you set up this dynamic local supply network?
JV To achieve this, we decided to reinforce our responsible supplies network by creating more than 12 regional-supply basins. Our purchasing teams are mobilized over the long-term to work together with local producers to build sustainable supply chains.
These basins were defined according to the local agricultural reality, employment areas, administrative divisions and culinary history of the territories. To stimulate the basins, a team of specialized buyers will be put exclusively in charge of referencing and interacting with local partner producers.
Their mission is to develop specific sectors corresponding to the regional expectations of our customers in line with the regional ecosystem. This new organization should make it possible to create numerous new sectors for each basin and thus quadruple our local food supplies in the medium term.
Our purchasing teams are mobilized over the long-term to work together with local producers to build sustainable supply chains.
Jérôme Velin, purchasing director at Elior France
What are the benefits for producers and for Elior?
AL For producers, our objective is to provide them with secure and long-term outlets that they can count on. This will thus enable them to plant, recruit and innovate, and offer the visibility they need to advance agricultural practices, etc. The agricultural world is waiting for this type of mutual commitment. The prospects for farmers who can work over the long term with a major contract catering player in their territory are promising.
For Elior, working with producers and our partners enables us to support local agricultural approaches, and participate with our customers in the many new trends that are emerging, such as PAT (Territorial Food Projects). It is also a way for us to actively contribute to the nutritional resilience of the territories and to the relocation / revitalization of a certain number of productions, etc. In this way, we can secure our local supplies for our customers and guests.
In the kitchens, Elior’s teams take pride in cooking produce sourced from their regional basin, and in interacting with producers and guests on the subject to animate their restaurants. For our guests, the canteen becomes even more of a venue where they can participate in supporting their local agriculture; a place where they can savor or discover the produce of their region, in particular the local and / or organic, local products which are regularly featured in the menus.
What concrete initiative have you put in place, for example?
JV We have already set up a base of regional products in the 12 basins, specifically regarding fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, and dairy products. This enables canteens to prepare traditional menus using local products. Every year, for example, we work with PDO table grapes. Last fall, we celebrated the French grape season in our 9,500 restaurants in France. For producers, this was an opportunity to introduce our guests to Muscat, a flagship grape variety cultivated in the heart of the Vaucluse department.
AL Another example that illustrates this commitment is one of our corporate canteens near Annecy, which supports its region, at its own level. Local producers are regularly featured on the menu, notably with regard to fruits and vegetables, dairy products, as well as meat. The canteen sources its pork and beef products from a partner farm located about thirty kilometers away. This is a concrete way for Elior’s teams and their customers to have a positive impact on the local ecosystem.