Regional products: strong local foothold in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
Supporting the Bio A Pro cooperative to source products that are both organic and local
Created some ten years ago, Bio A Pro is a cooperative of organic farmers in the Rhône and the Loire regions, which mainly supply organic and local products to collective restaurants in both departments. Its philosophy: to make organic and local food accessible to as many people as possible while guaranteeing producers receive a fair remuneration.
Through its eight-year-old partnership with Elior, Bio A Pro supplies the Group’s corporate restaurants, as well as its hospital and school canteens. The largest Elior sites supplied by the cooperative are the Ternay and Lyon central kitchens, which, respectively, cook 10,000 and 30,000 meals per day for school canteens. These kitchens therefore have to place large orders with producers: for example, they need 4 tons of zucchini to cook one meal!
Whenever it can, Elior gives Bio A Pro as much visibility as possible on its menus so that producers can anticipate certain orders. Elior regularly orders yogurts from the Ferme du Val Fleury farm, a yoghurt producer located between Lyon and St Etienne. Orders are placed two months in advance because farmers need one week to produce more than 25,000 yogurts. This makes it possible to offer children organic farm yogurt, produced with milk from cows that are fed, and treated with respect.
The producers also help Elior’s teams adapt their menus to new expectations, particularly in the case of vegetarian menus. Kitchen teams need to innovate to offer more vegetarian dishes, the demand for which is set to double in the coming years. Bio A Pro offers more legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, which have very interesting properties, while taking into account seasonality and the vagaries of nature that can have consequences on the harvests.
This partnership with Elior has made it possible for Bio A Pro to develop thanks to the large volume of orders placed throughout the year, and conversely, Bio A Pro has enabled Elior to offer more organic and local products to its guests. This partnership thus enables Elior and Bio A Pro to promote food that has a real ecological and ethical impact, particularly among young people.
Local meat sourced from the Carrel family business
The Group has also forged a partnership with Carrel, a family business which supplies Elior’s meat products (lamb, pork, beef and veal), and where the vast majority of animals are raised and slaughtered in Auvergnes-Rhônes-Alpes or elsewhere in France. By offering these products in school canteens, the Elior Group is supporting local producers who have animal welfare at heart.