(Article published in L’OBS in November 2017)
Created in 1868, Cailleau Herboristerie specializes in medicinal and aromatic plants. It is wholly independent, acquired by Mr and Mrs Brard in 2013. Set up in brand new buildings by the motorway exit in Chemillé-en-Anjou in the Maine-et-Loire department, Cailleau Herboristerie has 5,000 m² of space in which to receive, process, package and ship its products in accordance with the latest production standards. It covers two business sectors: sales to retail outlets like herbalist’s shops, hair salons, health food shops and pharmacies, and sales to industrial clients like breweries, agri-food industry and cosmetics manufacturers. The company received its latest pharmaceutical approval a year ago, so it can now sell plants from the pharmacopoeia domain to pharmacies. Today, Cailleau Herboristerie has a staff of 35 full-time employees. A catalogue of more than 800 products. Its catalogue contains more than 800 plants in a variety of forms: leaves, flowers, flowering tops, roots, cut, whole, powdered and more. Cailleau Herboristerie depends on the botanical excellence of its products and the know-how of its suppliers to procure high-quality plants for its clients. It guarantees each plant’s botanical identity. The company works with its pharmacist to inspect and test each delivery to guarantee consumer safety. It sources its products as close to home as possible, preferring short supply chains and local producers. But some plants aren’t grown in the region. For example, lavender comes from the South of France and génépi from the Alps. Others have to be imported, especially from Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia and even Brazil. It has also launched an organic strategy to meet a growing need. Currently, organic plants account for 25% of the catalogue. The plants are prepared in all forms (cut, crumbled, etc.), processed (capsules, aqueous macerates, essential oils and tea bags) and packaged (from 250 g to 2.5 T) on the company’s premises, as per clients’ needs and requests. More than 2,000 clients have already placed their trust in the firm. The quality of its products are also recognized abroad, as 15% of Cailleau Herboristerie’s turnover comes from exports.