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Family stories, Group's Houses

History of “Maison Charlois” #6

11 January 2024

Optimizing oak raw material is at the heart of the Charlois group’s commitments, which recycles 100% of its wood raw material, of which nearly 90% in-house.

 

As Jean-Louis Binder’s photographies from the 1960s and the Maison Charlois archives testify, this policy of recycling production by-products (coquerons, short off-cuts, shavings, sawdust, sweepings) is nothing new.
In fact, Maison Charlois had forged an important commercial relationship with the “Usines Lambiotte” in Prémery, with the aim of adding value to its related products. The “Usines Lambiotte”, which ran from 1886 to 2002, specialized in natural food flavors derived from the wood distillation process*. Prémery was originally chosen as the location for the plant, due to the extensive Nivernais forest**.
During 2001, Usines Lambiotte’s last year of operation before its definitive closure in 2002, Maison Charlois supplied the Prémery company with 15,000 m3 of off-cuts. The same year, 1,750 m3 of sawdust from the stave mill’s workshops were recycled by various members of the local economic fabric for composting and as stall bedding.

 

*MCP (methylcyclopentenol): caramel and licorice flavor; OMP (oxyl methylpyrone): strawberry flavor, flavoring agent for jams; DA (diacetyl): buttery flavor; AP (propionic acid): used in biscuit-making.

 

**In his Vade-mecum du forestier, François Caquet ranked Nièvre as the 6th most wooded department in absolute terms in 1881, with 204,995 hectares of woods and forests, and 10th in proportion to the department’s surface area, with 30% of its surface occupied by woods and forests.

 

Photographies © Jean-Louis Binder (1966) :

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