La Route Du Lait

In 1997, the Sodiaal group undertook a major project aimed at guaranteeing the highest quality of milk to the clients and consumers of its products, from production to consumption.

La Route Du Lait is the first quality management initiative in the French dairy sector. It encompasses health guarantees, hygiene, animal welfare, respect for the environment, the professionalism of producers and the involvement of the services provided by the group's cooperatives.
Having increasingly extensively integrated issues linked to the environment and personal safety over time, La Route Du Lait now forms a solid basis for constructing the group's sustainable development approach.

The objective: to guarantee the origin of products and their production method
To meet consumers' expectations in food safety and respect for the environment and individuals, the milk producers and the teams at the cooperative's departments are making commitments.
La Route Du Lait, a system for managing operating quality from farm to factory, constitutes for all stakeholders a genuine initiative for progress and enables continuous improvement on a daily basis, in compliance with the requirements of clients and in particular consumers.

Certification: a requirement level certified by an independent organisation
Remaining true to their cooperative commitments, the milk producers have opted for transparency. What's more, every year since 2000, AFNOR Certification, an independent certification body, ensures that all of the commitments made are followed. This certification is now carried out based on the AFNOR NF V01 007 standard.
It forms part of a comprehensive quality approach, from the farm to the finished products, as its complements the ISO 9001 and/or ISO 22 000 certification (specific to foodstuff safety) implemented in the processing plants.

7 audit modules on farms and long-term support

More than 4,500 farm audits are carried out every year by the cooperative's technical teams to assess producers' practices and commitments.
Assessments are conducted on the application of regulation, compliance with the Farming Best Practices Charter and requirements specific to the cooperative.

Progress in 3 steps
Every three years, an audit is conducted in each farm. At the end of the audit, a “plan of action” written by both the breeder and his advisor will make it possible to fulfill the producer’s commitment to go from step 1 to step 3.

Figures at a glance

60% of Sodiaal farms are in stage 2 or 3 of La Route Du Lait (70% of milk volume processed), which means than they go further than the reglementary requirements.