“It’s big, it’s modern. We can do great things here. Radhia and her colleagues do not hide their satisfaction. This Thursday noon, the Bara’mel workshop inaugurated its new premises in the industrial area of Saint-Herblain. A 700 m2 tool which comes at the right time for the twentieth anniversary of the integration structure specializing in the recycling of unsold bread. Founded in 2002 by the Trajet and Pain contre la Faim associations, the workshop, formerly based in Orvault then Sautron, has seen its activity ramp up, to the point of becoming today one of the key players in the fight against food waste in the Nantes region. Some 1,100 tonnes of bread and pastries were collected last year, compared to barely 200 tonnes at the start.
“We collect the goods directly from bakeries and supermarkets with the help of our volunteers,” explains Antoine Sorin, president of Pain contre la famine. That represents 280 points of sale all around Nantes. We avoid these businesses having to manage their surpluses, we also allow them to have a tax certificate. And we leave with goods to be valued. It’s a win-win. The collected stocks, four tons per day on average, are intended for animal feed. White breads and baguettes are resold in breadcrumbs for the Terrena agricultural cooperative. Cereal breads, pancakes and pastries are used, mixed with milk, to feed a large pig farm in Rouans (Loire-Atlantique).
” It’s good for the planet. We feel useful”
But before getting there, there is work in the Bara’mel workshop. “Once unloaded, the bread is sorted manually. It must then be cut using machines, sent to the drying chamber, and, finally, put it through the grinder, ”describes Rozenn Le Pabic, executive assistant at Trajet. The process is operated by 33 employees in integration. These people who are far from the world of work, sometimes without training or fluency in the French language, have support at the workshop, including administrative support, to gradually regain a “professional framework” and “self-esteem”. .
“We shoot at all positions, often in pairs,” says Radhia, 37. The atmosphere is pleasant. Everyone works at their own pace. This Somalian, who is thinking about continuing in the field of pastry, also appreciates carrying out a mission that makes sense. “What we do is good for the planet. We feel useful,” she says.
“Often the expiry date is not exceeded”
The president of the Bread against Hunger association, which also supports humanitarian projects in developing countries, remembers that Bara’mel was a “precursor” in 2002 in the fight against food waste. “Many other actors have since become involved. We also note that unsold goods from small traders are tending to decrease. All of this is obviously going in the right direction. »
In supermarkets, on the other hand, awareness seems less visible. “Their policy is to have fresh bread, of any type, at any time of the day. So there are a lot of losses. Often the expiry date is not exceeded. A large area can thus give us 600 kg to 700 kg per week! And she also donates to humanitarian associations of course. For our older volunteers, this waste is shocking. Bread has a very strong symbolic value. In their education, it was unthinkable to throw it away. »
In twenty years of activity, Bara’mel can pride itself on having recycled 16,000 tons of bread, the equivalent of 64 million baguettes. And to have accompanied 550 employees in integration. The Herblinois workshop can now project itself towards a new outlet: by 2023, place for the manufacture of “bread croutons and aperitif toast”, in addition to its sales for animal feed. “We are working on this project with Oniris (National Food School of Nantes), says Rozenn Le Pabic. The workspace is already ready. It will require slightly more demanding missions. It’s motivating for the team. »