It has been 100 years since the Pouliquen company, has been selling alliums and fresh vegetables from Northern Brittany.
Last Saturday, 2 July, the company celebrated this anniversary at an event attended by over 300 people, employees, partners and customers. This event was also the occasion to inaugurate (at last) the 500m2 building built in 2020 and entirely dedicated to the development of the organic allium packaging and trading activity. Finally, this meeting gave Pouliquen the opportunity to announce to all those present that it had obtained the CSR SME+ label.
Customers in more than 20 countries
It was in 1917, 20 km from the company’s current headquarters in Plounéour-trez (29), that Roger Pouliquen created the company bearing his name. At the age of 15, he started the business by selling potatoes. At the beginning of the 1930s, the company’s activity turned to the trade of garlic and onions. The shallot entered the catalogue in 1975 and gradually became the star of the Pouliquen range.
In 2021, the company, which has 25 employees (soon to be 28), sold nearly 11,000 tons of shallots and onions, and another 11,000 tons of fresh vegetables (cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, etc.).
Development of the organic activity
The company has a strong desire to develop its organic activity. To this end, a 500m2 extension, dedicated to the packaging of organic alliums, was built in 2020 and will be inaugurated on 2 July. The activity will start there by the end of 2022.
“Our future projects are dictated by the desire to develop while respecting our relationships with our local partners, suppliers and transporters and our involvement in CSR. Therefore we have chosen to develop an organic packaging branch, in addition to our current activity. Organic should not be inaccessible to consumers, we must ensure that. It is also important to support organic producers in their development, in the same way as those in conventional agriculture. Gérard Quillévéré, co-director of Pouliquen.
CSR at the heart of the company’s strategy
Gérard Quillévéré, the company’s director, has always been concerned about the well-being of his employees. Thus, various improvements have been made both in the operating departments, notably with the installation of automation systems, and in the offices. The company’s social responsibility is also expressed through various commitments. Firstly, Pouliquen recovers 95% of its organic waste thanks to a partnership with a local producer who has developed a methanisation activity. Actions to reduce plastic waste have also been put in place and have resulted in a saving of 10 tons of waste since December 2021. Finally, Pouliquen is committed to various social associations, including Les Restos du cœur (Restaurants of the heart), to whom a dozen tons of shallots and pink onions from Brittany are delivered on average each month to the donation warehouse in Vannes (56). This represents approximately 24,000 units for the beneficiaries.
All these actions have enabled Pouliquen to become the 191st company to be awarded the PME+ label. This label, recognized throughout France, is for independent French companies on a human scale, with ethical and responsible practices.
Since Gérard Quillévéré and Pascal Jaouen took over the company in 2002, the business has continued to grow. Pouliquen’s turnover has increased tenfold since the takeover. With a view to development and in order to have the means to develop the organic activity, three new sales representatives will join the company between now and September, bringing the number of employees in the company to 28.