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LSDH teams up with Biolait and Système U to commit to a fair and shared development of organic milk

27 July 2011

As an ardent defender of French farming and milk from the Centre region, in 2011, LSDH signed a partnership agreement with Biolait, a group of independent French producers of organic cows' milk and the Magasin U supermarket chain to provide organic milk for the U organic brand.

This commitment, which follows a year of working together, is evidence of the strong desire for a "fair" and shared development of the sector's product. It also expresses the determination of each stakeholder to enter into a dynamic and voluntary process leading to the long term development of organic farming and its values: respect for natural ecosystems, respect for producers through fair pay for their work, respect for consumers through a product that meets their expectations in terms of health, naturalness, authenticity and localness.

This ambitious project follows in the tradition of LSDH to defend French milk and local farmers. This small independent company with dairy origins maintains a privileged relationship with its 650 milk-producing partners spread across eight French departments.
Together, they seek to develop French production, farming and employees, by drawing the consumer's attention to the importance of buying locally, as shown through various campaigns such as "Lait d’Ici" (milk from here) or "Lait Centre Val de Loire" (milk from Val de Loire, Centre region) and the huge amount of work the Laiterie has put into French product networks (milk, soya, apple) etc.
"Encouraging local production and local employment means encouraging the creation of all forms of wealth - economic and cultural. It means giving new meaning to our actions and bringing together the People, the producers, the processers and the retailers in a joint project which is to succeed by improving the well-being of people while showing respect for our environment," explains LSDH Chairman, Emmanuel VASSENEIX.

Under this agreement, Système U commits to purchasing a certain amount of organic milk from BIOLAIT, amount assessed based on market demand and on the amount of conversions needed to meet the demand: 5 million litres in 2011. For every litre of UHT semi-skimmed organic U Bio milk sold 0.99 euros:

  • 0.34 euros are dedicated to transport, to the bottle and to processing,
  • 0.05 euros are dedicated to VAT,
  • 0.17 euros are dedicated to charges and to compensation for Système U supermarkets’ (to cover salaries, rent, operating expenses…),
  • 0.43 euros to compensation for the milk producers.

Consumers can now choose an ethical bottle on the shelves: LSDH is preparing to package organic cows' milk from different organisations grouped within Biolait for “U Bio”, Magasin U’s organic distributor brand. The financial support Magasin U is providing producers undergoing conversion (producers undergoing conversion received three cents per litre of milk sold, enabling 30 conversions in one year) means Biolait can continue its multi-territorial development in a shared perspective of better accessibility to "organic" products as much through structuring the sector and in terms of service as in price. By the end of December 2012, the group of producers had sold 13 million litres.

This close partnership of three companies is part of a broader approach that is ethical, economical and civic-minded, placing people at the heart of this ambitious challenge.

Download the press review (in French)