2015 10 15~1861@GILBERT GAILLARD .pdf


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Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 1/10

Languedocwfne grower Bons
Calinette (chairman of the CCVF
ut Coop de France LR) has made
^ratiorral renewal a cornerstone
¥his policy

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Page 2/10

HISTORY OF THE VINEYARDS

Co-operative

WINERIES
HEADING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
France's co-operative wineries have been modernised,
restructured and have moved their wines up the price points over
the past few years. They have been entirely transformed,
yet not lost their soûl Indeed, behind their economie performance
lies a unique business model designed to promote new vocations.

By Florence Jaroniak
Photographs All Rights Reserved

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Page 3/10

lorge! Val d Orbieu Uccoar the new naine is Vinadeis
And it s not just a name change but a whole new
lidentit} for this cooperative behemoth - \\ith a
turnover of 268 million euros in 2014 and net mcome
of €3 5 rn - designed to reflect Us growth strategy
Based in Narbonne France s largest wine co operative
group and third-largest wine industry player joined up
with InVivo [-rance s largest agricultural co operative
group last lune After bu>mg Bordeaux shipping firm
Cordier Mestrezat (as a partnership) then Vignobles du
Soleil, a C,ard-based hulk wine speciahst InVivo created
InVivo Wine Responsibility for managing sales and
marketing of this three-pronged cluster lias been entrusted
to Vinadeis Ils ambition is to betome an international
leader potentially worth I billion euros in ten years
time Admittedly, the partnership is unprecedented but it
illustrâtes just bow far the co operative winenes - 'bom
out of poverty' - have come ln a disastrous economie
situation, wine growers banded together with a common
ann to make and sell wine together by pooling resources
in order to raise their profile and shake off the shackles
of the shipping firms savs Bons Calinette chairman of
France s federation of co operative winenes (CCVF) and
Coop de France LR as a reminder
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Back in 1901 the year when the first French co operative
winery w as eslabhshed in Maraussan Herault the
advantages of the co operative system became évident
to all the small wine growers who could not expand
or bu> equipment alone before gaining traction then
reaching a plateau in the 1970s At that time new
market requirements forced the co operatives to distance
themselves horn a policy based solelv on quantity ln
regions like Provence Alpes Cote d A/ur some of the
co operatives even championed appellations and growths
like Beaumes de Venise However the most remarkable
revolution in quality look place in Languedoc Roussillon
where vinevards were restructured and investments were
made in technology "lhc co-operatives did nothing
more and nothing less than adapt to the sea change
Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 4/10

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 5/10

in consumption habits and globalisation, just like the
industry as a whole", explams Bons Calinette. With the
highest winery density in France, Languedoc co-opeiatives
now account for 75% of regional wine production and
85% of PGI Pays d'Oc wines "They market wines across
the quality spectrum and in all retail channels and boast
an extensive array of business models, including several
majoi playeis"

Chairman of the Champagne co-operative wmery federation,
Eric Potié is callmg for the development of high-profile
co-operative brands that can deliver added value

Hervé Schendenmann, chairman of Coop de France Alsace,
beheves Alsace co-operatives must invest more in press
and public relations and marketing their products

ASERIESOFMERGERS
The wave of mergers that swept across the French
co-operatives has produced several major players whose
number peaked during the wine industry cnsis "Unlike
some mergers which had to be humed through, SaintMont became structured by founding Plaimont before it
had its back to the wall, allowing it to invest and innovate",
stresses Catherine Bacquié, co-director of Coop de France
Midi-Pyrénées "In 1979, everybody came to study the
pioneering initiative of mis producers' group which, as wc
know now, has been extremely successful" Another Gers
co-operative group, GVG, has brought together significant
amounts of hulk wines, "in a compétitive marketplace
in which mergers are foreseeable, maybe even outside
the region". As a means of achieving the cntical mass
needed to tackle export markets and supermarkets and of
negotiating with a more condensed number of buyers due
to concentration, "the mergers have given an economie
boost to the region's co-operatives which were already
committed to producing quality wines, mainly under
the PGI désignation due to restructuring of Armagnac
vineyards" Gradually, co-operatives have taken a proactive rôle in marketing, hence the creation of marketing
unions aimed at broadening and diversifying the range of
products available
CLIMBING THE QUALITY LAUDER
In a wine region as prestigious as Burgundy, 'wmeries
have merged less, due to enhanced product value,
and have favoured alliances where each one retains
Us independence The potential nsk is that diverging
viewpomts can lead them to go their own way, which
is what happened recently to Blasons de Bourgogne",
recounts Michel Barraud As chairman of the Burgundy)ura co-operative federation, be has witnessed "constant
upgrades in quality through sorting, zoning and the
development of site-specifïc vineyards and estates,
primarily underpinned by the strong momentum of
Crémant sales where strategies have focused on openmg
up new markets" Mis viewpoint is echoed in eastern
France, where Hervé Schwendenmann, chairman of
Coop de France Alsace explams "Wc only have ll
co-operatives but they account for 40% of production
and over 50% of sales due to shipping businesses or grape

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 6/10

growers rep/icate work methods used by
<
estates by taking a more individual approach

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Page 7/10

SAINT MONT

italis^f)rt>duction of Saint-Mont, Paiment initially i mp r o vet) vineyard managemefft because
Gerswhite wine used for Armagnac production was fairly rim-of-the-mill
""'

outsourcing Significantly, six of them are amongst the
ten largest marketing firms ' Ihree of them are economie
powerhouses Bestheim, which recently merged with the
Kienuheim Kayseisberg co-operative, Wolfberger and
Alliance Alsace
MARKET-DRIVEN STRATEGIES
'All co-operatives new have précise spécifications al low mg
them to adapt production to suit différent markets without
losing the archetypal features of the appellation which
have enabled us to create a sustainable wine industry'
Hère, as in the other French wine regions wine growers
are no longer paie depending on alcoholic strength per
kilo of grapes but according to a sliding quality srale
Management nas also improved with vineyard technicians
optimising single vineyards and wine makers huang off
batches for individual fermentations Concurrently with
this, bottled wine sales and greater control over markets
from logistics to marketing, are developmg ' More money
has to be spent on downstream issues which are pivotai
to securmg added value even though the benefits take
longer to secure' continues Herve Schwendenmann
who believes ibis is one of the challenges of the future
Most co-operative w menés have slarted marketing their
own brands, modelled on Cellier des Dauphins which
is produced bv thirteen Cotes du Rhone co operatives
Leadmg the way is the powerfull Champagne co operative
movement with 135 winenes postmg I billion euros
in turnover which can pride itself on such success
stones as Nicolas Feuillatte, the world s third best-selling
Champagne
BRAND STRATEGY
Co operatives are increasingly concerned, however, about
growing sales of grapes to shipping compames 'Wc
need to constantly ramp up investments to support
co-operative brands so that they compensate for the loss
in sales by wine growers and protect market shares for the
Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 8/10

Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Page 9/10

production side No stone must be left unturned, mcluding
possible synergies with co opérâmes or private companies
in other regions" beheves Eric Polie, chairman of the
regional fedeiation lhc stakes are high "In Champagne,
the co operatives contribute to the equilibnum between
producers and the large shipping companies and in fixing
the price of grapes due to the fact that once the wines
have been made into Champagne bv the co-operative,
member growers can sell them explams Bons Calinette
He expounds further C o operatives play a major rôle in
ever>' region In the Loire Valley although mey are not in
a majonty, they boast leadmg names such as Ackermann
and Alliance Loire In Provence, a producer of rose wines,
the> paved the way for investments that have proved
pivotai to the quality of the wines Ihen there's the
Rhone valley and the réputation of wineries such as Tam
l'Hermitage the leadmg producer of northern growths '
NEW CO-OPERATIVES C O N T I N U E TO E M E R G E
Admittedly, the number of co operative wineries in France
dropped fram 977 in 1995 to 655 in 2013 due to
restructunng but they produce over half the wines
marketed" Although their size has increased volume is
not the only way of leveragmg efficiency small wineries
have successfully focused on niche markets and cellar
door sales ' More ad]ustment is still needed in Aquitaine,
for example, where one in four boules is made by
co-operatives "lt may come as a surprise but two thirds of
wines produced in Gironde and the Dordogne are still sold
in hulk and marketed under a negociant brand name',
explams Dominique Samtout director of the regional
federation The co operatives hère continue to make
headway Terres de vigneron a highly innovative wmery
was founded three years agc In fact new co operative
wineries are new emerging Secu was founded in 1996
Sauternes this year In the lalter case, the drive came
from some fifteen wine growers, with support fram local
politicians whose ann was to supply shipping firms with
Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503

Pays : France
Périodicité : Trimestriel

Date : AUTOMNE 15
Page de l'article : p.46-55
Journaliste : Florence Jaroniak

Page 10/10

a cntical range of quality controlled, allotted noble rot
wines as well as dry white Bordeaux

A QUESTION OF IMAGE
"The aim is to secure even greater added value, cam an
income restore the image of an ailing appellation and
structure an area where production is highly fragmemed"
Co operative winenes are thus resuming their initial
mission whilst at the same time playmg another rôle
"helpmg the wine grower deal with increasingly complex
administrative and legal issues, in terms of sustamable
development for instance", sums up Dominique Samtout
Hc goes on to point out 'A co operative is merely a tool
that bas to fit within a strategy and carve out a place for
itself alongside the growers' organisation and marketing
board' However such has been the transformation
that some wine growers are concerned "Changes have
undermmed neither the co operative spirit nor their
regional roots Iheir legal status preclucles any capitaliste
leanmg lt is eur responsibility to heuer explain eur
values which are similar to social responsibihty', stresses
Bons Calmette Note taken Faced with a poor public
image, co operatives have stepped up their efforts this
year the first agncultural co operative week targeting the
public was held, the trophy for co operative initiatives was
mtroduced and wine tourism schemes were launched, to
name a few
MULTIPLE CHALLENGES
At Vinexpo, eleven co-operative w menés fi om vanous
regions even launched a club to promote their top
flight offenngs to key influencers The onl> cloud on the
horizon is the dimmishing area under vmc one in four
co operatives predicis a IO to 30% décime in vineyard area
in ten years With ageing wine growers and land becommg
more expensive and fragmented "the co operatives are
tacklmg the issue of generational renewal by devismg new
schemes for land purchase, leaseback arrangements and
land usage in order to welcome new member growers
and maintam production potential Other aids for young
people mclude membership shares, advance payments
and planting grants', lists Bons Calmette A compétition
was also mtroduced in 2015 to piomote innovative
projects in mis area In the short term other challenges
are emerging \s a lesult of the mergei between hench
regions on January I, 2016 Midi Pyrenees and Languedoc
Roussillon, foi instance will combine to become the
world s largest wine region geared to quality wines
"Wc have to piepaie foi the change by findmg ways of
complementing one another whilst at the same time
preservmg our respective identities" predicis Catherine
Bacquie But at the end of the day one more challenge
shouldn't faze France's co operative winenes
Tous droits réservés à l'éditeur

AtVinadeis in Narbonne Fiances largest wine co opérât ve group
and third-largest wine industry

Chaired by Marc Sangoy, the Burgundy-Jura
co-operative federation groups together 22 winenes
which are continu ng to climb the qual ty ladder
by capitalismg on the success of Cremants

WOLFBERGER 1689655400503


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