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, 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.
A terroir producing quality
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.
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.
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.
Powdered baby milk: an expanding market in Asia
From 1949, Isigny Sainte-Mère launched into a new and expanding market, that of powdered baby milk. Over the last ten years, the company has been working with a Hong Kong business partner to distribute its products in Asia, all the while keeping its production in Normandy. Every year, its factories produce 40,000 tonnes of powdered milk, one third of which heads to China.
It’s been a great success. The demand for powdered baby milk has reached such a scale that a third production unit – capable of producing 25,000 extra tonnes – will open by the end of 2020, on the Calvados site of Isigny-sur-Mer. This has meant an investment of €60 million which will also see new jobs created; the company intends to recruit 150 additional employees on this new site.