Emmanuel Besnier, head of Lactalis, comes out of the woods and invests 70 million in the president

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Emmanuel Besnier, the 53-year-old ISG, is coming out of the shadows and rightfully so. This will prevent others from speaking on his behalf. No one has forgotten the TV show Cash investigation, 2018, where the journalist Élise Lucet, our colleague from the public service, found nothing better to deal with the French dairy and cheese giant that became world champions than to make it look like a “rogue” group just because it did not publish its accounts at the Commercial Court. Big deal ! Madame Lucet has a strange notion of public service by rejecting what should make us proud.

President was launched in 1968 by his father Michel Besnier

Let’s not talk about it anymore, it’s in the past. Lactalis got back on his horse. In fact, it never came out. And now our dairy emperor is increasingly present in the media (JDD, Problems, Echoes…). And that’s a good thing. At the age of 52, the giant from Laval (Mayenne) is rightfully exposing himself. Because if you don’t speak, others will do it for you. And so, we can fear the worst…

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Recently, our big boss explained to our colleagues Echoes that the global success of the President brand, which was started in 1968 by his father Michel Besnier, and since then expanded to numerous products and ranges (butter, Emmenthal, Comté, Coulommiers, cream, blue cheese, grated cheese, etc.), is not only a huge step forward marketing level.

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It is also a huge innovation on an industrial level, allowing the historic Domfront factory in Orne to go from a daily production of 60,000 Camemberts to more than 500,000 today in ten years. It all started with a new industrial process, the “coagulator” that enabled a real change in scale that allowed a dazzling gap over competitors to be able to deliver mass distribution. Emmanuel Besnier is categorical: “This technological revolution, a very large investment that made many people wonder, has allowed us to win over consumers with low prices and consistent quality. »

70 million euros in 2024 in the largest coagulator in the world

And it’s not over, one good news can hide another. Emmanuel Besnier specifies that he wants to invest 70 million euros in 2024 in what will be the largest coagulator in the world, 78 meters long, to equip the giant Domfront cheese factory set up on a 16-hectare site. Enough to make the ambitious neighbor of the head of the Le Duff group and its Bridor factory jealous, which has just opened the 7th production line at its Louverné confectionery factory (with 375 employees) located not far north of Laval.

The president in Domfront, a town of 3,500 inhabitants, should grow to 490 employees in 2024, not to mention a network of 750 local milk producers. A way to continue to produce President Camembert at low prices and sell them for less than two euros per box!

President, the world’s leading brand of dairy products

A competitive advantage for the President brand, which to this day remains the world’s leading brand of dairy products with an annual turnover of 3 billion euros, and products, due to globalization, are now produced in more than 30 factories outside France. In total, Lactalis overtook Danone and became the French number one in the food industry with a turnover of 28 billion euros, 261 production locations and 85,000 employees in 51 countries.

The success is even more incredible because it all started one day in October 1933 in a small house in Laval, when grandfather André Besnier started making his first 17 Camemberts a day from milk brought in by neighbors. Good for him, kudos to his teams: more, further, stronger. This is ultimately what we all expect from our presidents.

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Promote our economic fabric

Instead of trying to embarrass our best industry plumbers, our public television service and its president, Delphine Ernotte, would be honored to dedicate, for example, a regular program that bears the colors of our economic fabric loud and clear. As we have been doing in print for 40 years with the magazine Undertake (and without receiving a single penny of government subsidy or advertising, including Bpifrance).

At the moment, the president of France Télévision considers it more useful to broadcast a program about drag queens (Drag Race France) in prime time like this summer. Everyone has their priorities. Our economic fabric will wait.

Robert Lafont

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