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Éric Vergne proud to use 100% locally-produced milk

20 February 2020
Maison Vergne, a certified Living Heritage Company (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant), was established in Audincourt (Doubs, France) in 1964.

Éric, along with his wife, took over the family business in 2000. Today the two of them manage a team of more than thirty people, three boutiques (Audincourt, Belfort, and Montbéliard), and a new laboratory.

Fond of local products and their home region’s heritage, Éric works hard to promote the Montbéliarde breed of cows and the wide variety of cheeses made from their milk: Morbier, Comté, Cancoillote, etc.

So naturally, they decided to approach Nicolas Bucher, a local Montbéliarde dairy cow farmer and Morbier AOC (PDO) certified milk producer to supply them with milk.

Nicolas’ farm is located in Ecurcey, just 10 km from Maison Vergne, in the foothills of the Jura Mountains, in France’s Haut-Doubs. His 90 cows enjoy grazing spring and summer on a grassy plateau at 600m elevation. During the winter months they feast on hay and other farm-grown feed, all 100% natural and local. Nicolas’ farm falls under the very strict Morbier Protected Designation of Origin (PDO/AOP), which guarantees very healthy, highly nutritious milk (36g to 38g of fat per liter). If one of the animals is sick or suffering, Nicolas cares for it far away from the herd and does not use its milk.

Éric receives milk deliveries two to three times per week. Nicolas supplies the milk in stainless steel cans that he retrieves once empty. These reusable containers help avoid creating any unnecessary waste.

For Éric, using milk from Nicolas’ dairy farm guarantees high-quality ingredients for making cakes and chocolates, helps to ensure a robust local economy, greatly reduces packaging, and provides a lot of flexibility in the supply chain.

For Nicolas, selling a portion of the milk he produces to Éric is recognition for the quality of his work, fills him with a sense of pride to know that his milk represents a key ingredient in Maison Vergne’s delicious gourmet creations, and earns a premium price.

For Éric and Corinne, this approach to business is a natural and obvious choice. 

When they take a step back, the couple sees the positive impact that their way of operating has on staff. Sharing knowledge is more than just techniques and recipes; it also includes teaching the right soft skills for success. 

Nicolas and Éric have built a win-win partnership: a win for Éric, Nicolas, and all of the foodies who love the desserts made by Maison Vergne.

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