4.0 mill for sustainable, high-quality flour
A trailblazer and pioneer in sustainable chains in France, Moulins Soufflet is affirming its position as an innovative and committed miller with the inauguration of its new mill in Corbeil-Essonnes today. After five years of construction work, this ultra-modern mill started production a few months ago. It embodies Moulins Soufflet's determination to continue investing in order to innovate and upgrade its production tools, as well as the ambition of Episens, the wheat division of the InVivo group, to enhance the wheat value chain through a sustainable-chain approach.
An ultra-modern mill with a smaller carbon footprint and enhanced traceability
Comprising five levels in a brand-new building equipped with cutting-edge technology, this new mill brings together the latest innovations in milling to be automated, computerised, connected and digitalised all at the same time (4.0). This new facility, which enables a highly advanced and more environmentally friendly milling process, will allow Moulins Soufflet to satisfy the new expectations of its customers: a more diversified range of flour, from T38 to T65; and the guarantee that new quality, energy and food safety management standards will be met.
The infrastructure at the Corbeil-Essonnes site offers a large amount of wheat and flour storage capacity (68 storage cells for wheat and 46 cells for flour), meaning that each batch of wheat and flour can be isolated, thus guaranteeing complete traceability of the products from field to bakery, in particular through the use of blockchain technology.
In order to reduce energy consumption during the process and its carbon footprint, the mill is laid out over five levels, using gravitational force to work the products. Furthermore, the motorisation of the facility is innovative, with electrical energy that has not been consumed being redistributed, enabling electrical energy savings of 30% compared to a traditional mill. In addition, its location around 50 kilometres from the Soufflet Agriculture silo in Pézarches (where wheat is collected and stored without any post-harvest treatment) allows for optimised provision of supplies to the mill, with wheat destined for the production of Baguépi Farine Responsable flour in particular. Finally, 15% of the site's wheat is transported by barge.
900 tonnes of wheat milled per day, equivalent to 5 million baguettes
The Corbeil mill has a total milling capacity of 900 tonnes per day (270,000 tonnes per year when operating 7 days a week), which is equivalent to around 5 million baguettes. It can produce all the usual pastry and baking flours (T45, T55, T65) as well as more technical flours, such as T38 for doughs that can be rolled out.
Episens' unique expertise, from grain to finished product, is based on its strong commitment to sustainable agricultural sectors upstream (wheat) and responsible production downstream (standard and special flours, bread-making ingredients, leavens and frozen bakery products).
Of the 1000 tonnes of wheat received every day, more than 50% comes from Semons du Sens' sustainable chains to produce the Baguépi Farine Responsable product range: Authentique, Tradition Artisan, Sélection d'Antan, Sélection Ambrée, Tradition Prestige Label Rouge and Terre de Sens Label Rouge.
Moulins Soufflet: a pioneer in traceable, sustainable chains with Semons du Sens
Moulins Soufflet has seen continuous growth over the last 18 years in the sustainable flour segment. The volume of flour produced through sustainable chains has increased 12-fold in 12 years and has now reached 300,000 tonnes, with wheat grown sustainably by 3200 partner farmers.
At the heart of the InVivo group's ambitions, the aim of the Semons du Sens initiative is to support and highlight changes in agricultural practices in order to offer consumers more sustainable and responsible food. Its approach involves more than 8500 farmers across a wide range of sectors, such as wheat, barley and vines.
In the wheat sector, several specifications have been drawn up according to customer expectations. Moulins Soufflet's benchmark sustainable chain is based on specifications granted level-two environmental certification, with commitments to the following:
origin, with 100% traceable French wheat;
the environment, with good agricultural practices that preserve the environment and promote biodiversity;
natural wheat, without any post-harvest treatment;
the distribution of value, with sector premiums paid to farmers;
quality, with wheat varieties carefully selected for their bread-making and organoleptic qualities.
A new life for Grands Moulins de Corbeil
The old mill, which was built in the late 19th century, will be converted into housing while preserving its historic character. The proposal from Cogedim (a developer of new housing) and Histoire & Patrimoine (an expert in the renovation of historic buildings) was chosen for how suitable and appropriate it was in terms of the urban, heritage and industrial challenges faced. As such, new homes will be created while the value of the existing buildings is also enhanced. Completion is scheduled for 2026.