The Florac agri-food workshop, an ideal tool for training and preparing local products

The Florac agri-food workshop, an ideal tool for training and preparing local products

The Florac agri-food workshop, an ideal tool for training and preparing local products

L’atelier de découpe de la viande est très fonctionnel. DR

Cet établissement public comporte cinq unités qui permettent de transformer la viande, le poisson, les légumes, les fruits, les produits sucrés et laitiers, et bien d’autres.

Since 2011, a large building of 700 m2 near the RN 106 and the Florac hospital has housed an agri-food workshop. It is one of three in the Occitanie region, with Rodez and Villefranche-de-Rouergue. In this public establishment, no less than 600 people per year follow short, theoretical and practical training, on one of the many themes offered (meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, honey and sweet products, cereals, techniques conservation…). To these hundreds of trainees are added some 200 professionals and individuals who take over the place by renting the equipment available in the processing units. "The idea is that this workshop can promote the short circuit with breeders or craftsmen who come to transform their products on site", specifies& ;nbsp;Grégory Boulard, director of the workshop since 2016.

From a raw product to a finished product

The ground floor of the workshop is divided into five units. Two are dedicated to meat and fish. The first concerns the cutting of all types of animals; the second, preparation. The machines are quality and suitable for small and medium volumes. "Originally, the workshop was designed to meet the needs of farmers, they can find what they need here", explains Grégory Boulard. No huge industrial machines therefore ; just adequate equipment for productions on a human scale. "With the equipment we have, there is the possibility of making soups, prepared meals, pâté, etc.", continues the one who, with other employees, supports and helps professionals. "If it’s the first time they are renting, we are there to guide them and explain how it works. We are also very attentive to compliance with hygiene standards." While remembering that people are responsible for their own manufacturing.

The Florac agri-food workshop, an ideal tool for training and preparing local products

Guillaume André and Grégory Boulard, in front of the autoclave which sterilizes the jars. Midi Libre – Lucas Manouvrier

Once the product is ready, it is canned on site and then sterilized using an autoclave operated by authorized personnel. And this last part of the unit marks the end of the meat and fish processing process. The operation of the other units (dairy products; sweet products; juices and fruits/vegetables) is relatively similar. A whole set of equipment allows a raw product to be completely transformed into a finished product. One of the attractions of the workshop, which attracts individuals from September to December, is the apple juice factory. All you have to do is bring your apples and, at the end of the day, people can leave with their full bottles.

The Florac agri-food workshop, an ideal tool for training and preparing local products

Juice making appeals to individuals. DR

A training center recognized in France

Guillaume André, head of the agri-food training center, and his colleagues travel all over France to give courses and invite people to continue practical training at Florac. Today, barely 10% of learners are from Lozère, a sign that the reputation of the agri-food workshop extends beyond the department's borders. Around thirty short training courses, lasting two to five days, cover different themes. À Please note that these training courses are eligible for funding via Vivea or the Personal Training Account (CPF).

Expensive equipment

The equipment invested in the agri-food workshop costs, in total, around 350,000 euros. Machines are worth several thousand euros, and are far from being accessible to everyone. By renting them by the day, several times a year, a craftsman or farmer reduces his costs. And for those who want to start an activity or who are hesitant to invest, the interest in testing them at a lower cost is beneficial. "It allows them to judge the usefulness of a machine for their activity, points out Guillaume André, head of the training center at the ;rsquo;workshop. And to see if a purchase later could be profitable for them depending on what their sales bring in."

Open days are organized on Thursday September 12, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the agri-food workshop, 2 place de l'Ancienne gare in Florac. Activities, demonstrations and creations are on the program to introduce you to the establishment's activities. For more information on using the agri-food workshop: 04 66 65 65 60. For more information on short training courses in the agri-food industry: 04 66 65 65 62 or www.epl-lozere.fr/formations-courtes I subscribe to read more

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