Agri-food: “Everyone works in an understanding and resilient state of mind, showing solidarity”, says Gilles Bocbee, manager of Soreal (35)

We live in an exceptional, unique situation. We haven’t experienced this before. Everyone has to adapt quickly to the new measures. Agri-food producers must provide a business continuity plan. It is essential. I also see a lot of solidarity. Everyone plays the game, at all levels. Everyone works in an understanding and resilient state of mind and demonstrates flexibility. I admire this positive attitude” explains Gilles Bocbee, head of the Soreal Group.

In Brie near Rennes, Soreal produces almost 10,000 tons of products, saucesaimed at the professional catering market, as well as food distribution and the food industry. It employs around a hundred employees with a turnover of around 30 million euros.

Preserve human capital

Today, a manager’s priority is to ensure the health of all his employees. ” We spend a lot of time calming them down although the agri-food industry has been operating for a long time in maximum security conditions. Masks, gloves, coveralls, caps, etc. Hygienic conditions have been established for a long time. There is no revolution for us. However, it remains educate employees to take the same actions outside “.

Soreal has implemented mandatory distancing rules, grouping is prohibited. Anyone who can work remotely is equipped. All physical contact with the outside world was removed. ” THE drivers who come to deliver or pick up goods stay in their cabE. We are responsible for loading and unloading. It is more restrictive, but the priority is to preserve our human capital »

A 50% drop in activity is planned

Giles Bocbee’s second priority is keeping the company active and securing jobs. Within a week, Soreal lost between 20% and 25% of its turnover, mainly from restaurant chains. ” It is important, but tolerable. I expect to go further. We expected a drop in activity of up to 50%. “. In this context, the export volume is maintained (around 15% of turnover). ” Our site in Egypt is currently unaffected. We apply the same business continuity plan as here in Brié. Trucks continue to go to Germany, Spain, Poland “. The logistics chain is not broken, but “It’s going to get complicated “.

To cope with this drop in activity, the Brittany SME created a application for partial unemployment at 20% workforce with Straight Brittany. ” We will probably go up to 50%. All employees understand the situation perfectly. The government also seems very, very accommodating to me. The banking sector plays the game. I got all the lines of credit deferred. Of course, there are ways to be put in place, but we have to understand that everyone is taken aback. We are experiencing a unique moment Gilles Bocbee concludes.

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