"This is a challenging time for us, as it is for everyone," says Adriana Chelli, of Les Herbes du Roussillon. "Fortunately, we have the chance to continue working, despite the lack of visibility, like all players in the food sector."
The demand from customers in the out-of-home catering sector is virtually at a standstill, but the demand from supermarkets remains strong, "so we continue to produce and prepare for the future. The sector is showing great willingness in all fresh food markets."
Les Herbes du Roussillon is taking advantage of the situation to refocus on certain values. "The market cares strongly about food safety. We have an organic subsidiary, we are Global GAP and IFS Food certified, and we are in the process of obtaining the HVE certification. We are committed to mechanical rather than chemical weed control. Moreover, it is important for us to eliminate plastic from our packaging and our production methods."
Packaging is the subject of many challenges. "At the moment, our customers have two main requirements: on the one hand, they expect packaging that is increasingly safe in terms of hygiene, especially in times of a health crisis. On the other hand, they also demand the elimination of plastic. After the health crisis, there will most likely be a growing demand for eco-compatible packaging. As far as herbs are concerned, there are several technical difficulties to be solved. Our packaging suppliers are changing. The requirements are multiple: the packaging must be moisture resistant, offer a good presentation of the product, preserve it, allow it to breathe and be compatible with existing machines. Furthermore, the cost must be acceptable to the end customer. The cost of an alternative packaging to plastic is becoming more and more reasonable, but it is still expensive."
Adriana Chelli at medFEL 2019