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December 2022

 Charlotte Trossat

Save the vegetables !


“I’ve always been for the environment,” says Charlotte Trossat, a woman who loves nature and country life. After her biology and agronomics studies, internships on farms, in research and in national parks in South Africa, she grabbed the chance of a slot with IVB (International Volunteers in Business). That took her to Kenya to work on biodiversity in quarry rehabilitation for cement maker Lafarge. In 2010, after three years in Haute-Loire, she went back to Lafarge as head of environment and land management. The birth of her second daughter prompted her to think about a project of her own. She wanted to bring human and environmental values into the daily lives of demanding consumers. Convinced that the future is organic and wanting to work in the farming world she loves, she started up her one-woman business in 2014, partnering a local production workshop. She laid down two conditions: that they bottle the organic produce rejected during sorting. “Ugly vegetables are just as good as the others. I’ve made it my business to fight food waste,” she says.

What drives this 41-year-old businesswoman daily is the desire to make an impact not only for the environment but also for social welfare. “I’m keen to create jobs because that is a positive action for society.” She was recently awarded the status of a ‘social integration company’, which means she gets some support for helping employment-challenged people. “My leitmotif is to show that a firm can be profitable and still have significant social and environmental goals. I think business people have a role to play in building a better world.”

This small bottling plant in the Avignon Agroparc produces bottled fruit, soups, spreads and cooked vegetables – 50 products in all. Everything is made from fresh fruit and vegetables grown at an average distance of 30km from the bottling plant. All the produce used is sorting rejects from 40 partner farmers. The firm makes nearly half its sales figure from its own brand, A Côté, sold through organic channels. Eighty per cent of its 400 client shops are in Southeast France. The firm also works for farmers, producing cooked dishes for local school canteens and organic brands like La Vie Claire, Monoprix Bio and Little Gustave. The aim is to continue to expand the A Côté brand, aiming to save 500 tons of vegetables a year and employ five employment-challenged people.

Localisation : Avignon
Création : 
Octobre 2015
Activité : Conserverie
Dirigeants : Charlotte Trossat
Collaborateurs : 19
Capital : 57K

By Clotilde Roux



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