Bernard Royal Dauphiné has regionalized

Bringing production and consumption chains closer to each other


French poultry processor Bernard Royal Dauphiné plays an important role in the ‘regionalization of supply’, aiming to bring poultry production and consumption chains closer together in the Rhône-Alpes region. Jean-Luc Alnet, general manager of the Drôme company located in the town of Grâne, talks about this special aspect of his operation.

How is processing done in your plant?

“We process, cut up, pack and ship 350,000 broilers per week. That’s 5,500 bph [92 bpm]. You can find Marel machines all over our cut-up department. They are part of a big investment that we started in February 2018. 80% of our processed products are cut up, 20% are whole chickens. In the ACM-NT system, we cut wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole legs and of course breasts, which we debone on two AMF systems. Then the RoboBatcher places fillets in trays. As for the other pieces, SmartWeigher and IRIS in the ACM-NT line weigh and grade them. Based on these data, the products are placed in trays."

In our industry, using robots is really mandatory

Jean-Luc Alnet
Managing Director of Bernard Royal Dauphiné

Bernard Royal AMF

What is your market?

“Supermarkets in South-Eastern France make up 70% of our market. South-Eastern France has the highest population density in France. Our catchment area covers the triangle between Lyon, Perpignan and Monaco. From early April to mid-August, there are approximately 22 million potential consumers, including many tourists. 70% of chicken purchases are made in a supermarket. Roasters, wholesalers, independent stores and restaurants make up the rest. These are exactly the channels we serve.”

Where do we find your products?

“Royal Bernard is our private label. This is always a chicken from our region. We also supply all the brands we distribute to Système U, Intermarché, Auchan, Lidl and Aldi. We process about 320,000 standard broilers and 30,000 Label Rouge chickens each week. We also process 20,000 ‘Jardin d’Hiver’ chickens per week, a slow-growing species we introduced in France. The ‘winter garden’ is an extra space in the chicken coop, giving the chickens more room to move around and grow in the open air, improving animal welfare. In three or four years, we expect to produce 60,000 a week.”

Royal Bernard Produits2400

How do you handle sustainability?

“Topics such as animal welfare, sustainability and water use are becoming increasingly important. They are really mandatory for our future investments. This is how we fulfill our commitments to being socially and environmentally responsible. We strive to bring production and consumption chains closer to each other, reducing our carbon footprint by limiting transport distances. In fact, we are the ones who initiated local poultry production in France, what is called the ‘regionalization of supply’. 100% of our chickens are produced in the Rhône-Alpes region. To be honest, we are already suffering from climate change. We need to review our work organization because it’s getting hotter and hotter. Catching chickens during the day is no longer possible. Getting people to work is complicated when it’s +40°C [+104 °F]. So next year, we’re going to do it like our Spanish colleagues. We’re going to work at night in the factory and stop at noon.”

Can you find enough people to work?

“This is a global problem and we also have a number of vacancies. We will probably use less and less manpower and have more machines doing the job. Product quality and performance must, however, remain our top priorities. So we need to have a clear vision of the performance and automation of our process. In our industry, using robots is really mandatory. This allows us to limit manual operations, which are physically demanding, and attract new generations into our industry. Jobs will be completely different and technologically much more interesting."

Bernard Royal Batiment 2400

About Bernard Royal Dauphiné

In 1955, Marcel Bernard created the company in his basement. A few years later, his wife and children got involved in this family adventure. In 1991, the company opened up its capital to resist national groups and chose to ‘sell the territory’. This niche and its poultry processing activities enabled it to buy ‘Royal Dauphiné’ to become ‘Bernard Royal Dauphiné’ in 2000. Since then, the company has continued to develop and innovate. The company only deals with chicken farmers in its region, enabling it to guarantee the traceability of each of its poultry products. Today, Bernard Royal Dauphiné is part of Galliance and employs around 300 people.

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