Through Margaux Thokagevistk
In the 2000s, the Upper Garonne more than 2,000 dairy cattle farms, compared to one today. Every seven years, the number of these farms is divided by two. And with an average of one to two young breeders who set up shop each year, the situation is not improving, at the risk of seeing the dairy sector disappear in the very long term.
This reality comes up against another: that of “Eat better”, often synonymous with eating local thanks in particular to short circuits. And while this booming trend should allow our producers to conquer a new market, in fact it is not.
A suspended dairy industry
It is in this context of crisis that the Haute-Garonne Chamber of Agriculture and the Toulouse dairy YéO Fresh got closer, to launch the association Pink Brick. The goal? Federate the producers of the department to create a responsible milk sector. The collaboration contract was signed on Saturday, September 18, 2021, on the occasion of the agricultural show Les Pyrénées, in Saint-Gaudens.
“The department’s milk producers do not have access to this locavorism market because we are not sufficiently organized. Hence the interest for us to unite around this project and to sell our production to YéO Frais. The principle is simple: we are committed to supplying milk to the company and they are committed to buying it and promoting it through the regional brand La Brique Rose for better remuneration of around 5 cents. Today, a farmer receives an average of 33 cents per liter of milk, there we will go to 38 cents. ”
Five cents that make a big difference assures the one who is also a dairy farmer in Francon: “This should allow us to go from a loss-making operation to a profitable operation”.
An association and a brand of dairy products
La Brique Rose is therefore the name of the association, but it is also that of a committed brand that will offer dairy products available for sale in supermarkets and collective catering (schools, communities) from 2022 onwards.
That is the work of the Toulouse dairy YéO Frais, a subsidiary of the Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin cooperative. Present in the Pink City since 1929, it is in its factory – located at 183 avenue des Etats Unis – that it transforms every day the milk of farmers in the dairy area of the great South-West: yogurts, fresh creams, bricks of milk …
This strategic rapprochement with the producers of Haut-Garonnais should allow the company to validate its supplies.
We are not Brittany or Normandy which are clearly the two breasts of France with 75% of milk production. It is therefore essential for us to develop and perpetuate a local sector because if it does, the factory will no longer have a raison d’être. We are not going to ship Norman milk to Toulouse. It wouldn’t make sense. ”
Building the next 10 years
The business manager assures him that his objective with this partnership is not to make money: ‘erosion of milk collection in the South-West. With this project, YéO Frais is building the next 10 years. So afterwards, maybe we’ll fail, but at least we’ll have tried, ”he says frankly.
To succeed in this bet, the Toulouse dairy decided to fully play the card of regional identity with packaging in the colors of the Pink City. Supported by Toulouse Métropole, the department of Haute-Garonne and the Occitanie Region, the Brique Rose project will take concrete action early next year. The first 100% Haut-Garonne milk cartons will be on sale from the 2e semester 2022.
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