The Carcassonne manufacturer of artisanal ice cream under the La Belle Aude brand, La Fabrique du Sud has joined the Occitanie Region Growth Accelerator. The objective to support the growth of the company.
Alongside around thirty companies from Occitanie, La Fabrique du Sud has joined the Accelerator Growth Region Occitanie, supported by the regional institution and operated by Bpifrance. The approach is not trivial when you know the course of the Carcassonne company whose activity was taken over by a group of employees determined to take their future in hand. “We joined the second promotion of this program which allows us to have tools to accelerate our development on the territorysays Christophe Barbier, president of La Fabrique du Sud. Our scop status (cooperative society, Editor’s note) is not a brake. We are a company like any other, apart from our mode of governance. We need profitability and growth to be sustainable.”
Acquire new tools
For this second promotion, the wine merchant Ma’s del Vin, based in Elne, which is also specialized in the bottling of wines and spirits to order, as well as the Perpignan company LCS dedicated to screen printing on textiles are also part of this second accelerated business promotion. The themes of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are the red thread of the training days, workshops and conferences because they are sources of opportunities. “This device gives us additional tools on the strategy, security and cybersecurity, growth, recruitment, finance etc.continues Christophe Barbier. The expertise of outside contributors shakes up our visions and shows us other ways of doing things”.
Another interest of the accelerator: the promotion effect. “We are in contact with companies from various backgrounds: construction, transport, digital, agri-food, etc. During the first exchanges, I was able to see that the leaders all have the same reflexes and that we share common points. By comparing the tools that we have developed internally and our projects, I was able to see that ultimately our strategic vision is rather fair”.
Christophe Barbier was also able to exchange with another accelerated, the Lotois Biscuiterie Fine de France, based in Montat, in the Cahors-Sud area. Relying on its artisanal know-how for the production of ingredients for pastry, the Biscuiterie fine de France now concocts biscuits and delicacies, offering today more than 300 product references. “The Accelerator allows us to strengthen our exchanges on products with the Biscuiterie de France, which is already a partner because we are not a pastry specialist. In effect, being able to imagine and develop new products with the essential partners that are the suppliers has become vital for our companies which need to innovateexplains Christophe Barbier. Like us, they also have a major investment project in the construction of a new production building. We are faced with the same problems as them, for example on the question of financing the increase in the cost of construction, problems of moving…”
New production tool
Currently tenant of its production site in Carcassonne, “we are thinking about an investment project (estimated at 4 to 5 million euros, editor’s note) in a new production tool that would meet health standards that would improve our production capacities by 2025-2026 “, continues the president of La Fabrique du Sud. For the time being, the company must adapt to the difficulties of supplying cardboard pots. “Our new Esprit Libre range is impacted by a lack of stock from our Italian suppliers. We will have to put in place a plan B so as not to disrupt our commercial commitments. While we are negotiating directly with the cardboard converters, we currently have to order the pots a year in advance. We use more than 800,000 pots a year! “, concludes the manager who employs 24 employees and aims for a turnover of 4 million euros in 2022 (compared to 3.2 in 2021).
What can a company expect from an accelerator?
Launched in 2015, the Accelerators are intensive and tailor-made programs lasting several months, for promotions of around thirty entrepreneurs. Their objective: to structure companies in depth to reveal their potential and make them prosper faster. The method: individual advice, collective training and qualified networking. During the duration of the program, which is spread over several months, the manager can take a step back from his strategy and the structuring of his business, or even identify new levers for growth and define an action plan. Accelerated companies gain 10 points of revenue growth compared to comparable non-accelerated companies, according to a study by Bpifrance.
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