Since 1932, Normandy’s Isigny-Sainte-Mère Cooperative has proudly maintained its know-how and quality in making dairy products. Managed by Daniel Delahaye since 1990 until his recent retirement, the business now achieves two thirds of its turnover abroad. Milk, cheese, fromage frais, butter and cream sold under the Isigny Ste-Mère brand are to be found across the world. The Cooperative also produces baby milk for partners across the world.

A terroir producing quality

Isigny Sainte Mère
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The Isigny Sainte-Mère Agricultural Cooperative brings together 650 milk producers (associate members of the cooperative), spread out on 430 farms in the Norman counties of La Manche, Calvados and Orne.

Every year, 225 million litres of milk are collected in less than 48 hours, to be transformed in the cooperative’s factories located at Isigny-sur-Mer (in La Manche) and Chef-du-Pont (in Orne). Thanks to the high quality of the raw material, the Cooperative uses its traditional know-how to prepare its butter (salted, unsalted, churned or dry), cream (fresh, liquid or whipped), cheese (camembert, raw milk’s cheese, pont-l’évêque and mimolette), fromage frais and skimmed milk.

Change of leadership

After 32 years at the head of Isigny Sainte-Mère, Daniel Delahaye took his well-earned retirement in October 2023. Gérald Andriot took over the reins of the business, strengthened from working side-by-side for the last 10 years with the emblematic CEO. Daniel Delahaye is a well-known figure across the region, who transformed the small milk producer into a business open to the world. His adaptive, resourceful, style of management, was much appreciated not only by the milk producers, but also by his staff and clients.

In taking over the role of CEO of Isigny Saint-Mère, Gérald Andriot is taking forward the ambitions of his predecessor: to further develop the brand and to meet the new environmental challenges, while all the time deepening the know-how and exceptional client service of the company.

Products exported across the entire world

Conveying a very positive image of French – and Norman – cuisine, renowned for its quality and respect for traditions, the ‘made in Isigny’ brand has encountered great success abroad, with 62% of the business’s turnover derived from exports to 45 countries, including the USA, Europe and Asia (notably Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China), people there all relishing the taste of these Normandy products.

Isigny Sainte Mère

Powdered baby milk: an expanding market in Asia

For the last 10 years, the company has been producing – for partner-clients across the globe – top quality baby milk, while all the time maintaining production in Normandy. Every year, over 40 000 tonnes of milk powder leave the factory in Isigny Sainte-Mère.

The strong growth of the business, and its worldwide success, has led to new staff recruitment. This has led to the number of staff working for the Normandy cooperative doubling in 10 years, reaching 1 200 staff today.  

Quality marks and know-how

The high quality of the company’s products is recognised by official quality marks – labels in French: AOP (or Protected Designation of Origin, PDO, in English) for cream and butter, camembert and pont-l’évêque, as well as Label Rouge for mature and extra-mature mimolette. These guarantee the origin of the milk and the respect for production techniques using ancestral know-how.

The extra mature mimolette won the coveted “Best cheese in the world” prize at the 2023 Lyon International Competition. Then in 2024, the 35% fat Crème d’Isigny won the title of “Best Dairy Product”. It is also the dairy which has won the most prizes in the history of the Paris Agricultural Competition, with over 400 medals in its awards showcase.  

B Corp label: A prestigious distinction

After having been studied for over two years, the cooperative was awarded the highly prestigious, but nonetheless demanding, ‘B Corp’ label (meaning Benefit Corporation). This is an international label awarded by the B Lab NGO to recognise the societal and environmental commitments of the company. Only 350 French companies have been awarded this label.

The criteria for the study include governance, collaborators, the preservation of the environment, the impact on the local area, as well as client management. A few notable facts contributed to this recognition: at one of the two production sites in Chef-du-Pont, 10% of the electricity consumed is from solar panels on the buildings; in 2023, Isigny Sainte-Mère reduced it water consumption by 11.12%; in terms of quality of life in work, a number of projects have been put forward, such as car-sharing, as well as a wide training programme for all staff  (17 750 hours of training in 2023).

The B Corp label, widely recognised on the international scene, has been awarded to Isigny Sainte-Mère for 3 years, bearing witness to the recognition of its know-how and rewarding its innovation.

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