Opening of the first Baking Center™ of West Africa in Ivory Coast

On Tuesday, 28th of January 2020, Lesaffre inaugurated the Baking Center™ of its subsidiary Lesaffre Ivoire in Abidjan in the presence of Mr David Jousselme, Director of the Lesaffre Overseas region and Mr Gilles Huberson Ambassador of France in Ivory Coast. This new Baking Center™, the first of its kind in West Africa, aims to support customers in this region in the development of their expertise and new innovative bread-making solutions.

A technological innovation centre at the service of bread making activity

In order to be ever closer to its customers and to meet growing demand in West Africa, Lesaffre is opening its Baking Center™ in Abidjan. Lesaffre Ivoire thus completes its expertise and facilities in order to support a diversified clientele: craft bakers, industrialists, distributors, wholesalers, hotels and restaurants.

The new Baking Center™, built on a surface area of more than 120 m², will bring together a team of breadmaking specialists who will be able to help professionals in the development of new products or breadmaking processes, train them using on-site equipment or intervene directly in their customers’ workshops and production sites to provide technical support.

Romain Petit, Managing Director of Lesaffre Ivoire adds: “Our customers appreciate being able to challenge their bread-making process on state-of-the-art equipment and with the help of experts. It’s a collaborative, peer-to-peer process, and our entire team is mobilized to come up with new ideas. For some customers, it’s an opportunity to learn or relearn how to master the ingredients to diversify their offer or improve the quality of their products. »

A locally anchored project

Lesaffre Ivoire’s experts and technicians are perfectly familiar with the specificities of West Africa and provide concrete solutions for using yeast, sourdough or bread improvers in local recipes such as Ghanaian bread, traditional baguette, farmhouse bread or compound bread (wheat-manioc).

“We have always wanted to be as close as possible to our customers, and Africa is an important market for Lesaffre. We are proud to inaugurate this new Baking Center™ which will enable us to go further in our support in West Africa. Bread is not consumed in the same way in France, the Ivory Coast or Algeria. Local experts can respond to local requirements and share their knowledge with research and development here. This enables them to co-develop products that meet these requirements. It’s a virtuous circle that starts in Baking Center™ where professionals speak the same language. “adds David Jousselme, Director of the Overseas region of Lesaffre.

Baking Center™, whose concept was created in 1974 by Lesaffre, is a real centre of expertise, technology and innovation in bread making for the bakery trade. The international network of Baking Center™ currently comprises 47 centres spread over the 5 continents.

The African continent, the first historical export market for the group

Africa was the first export destination for the Lesaffre group. In the 1950s, Ivorian bakers could already use Lesaffre yeast. Today, Lesaffre has 5 production sites in Africa, 6 sales offices and employs more than 700 people on the continent

Lesaffre Ivoire has been based in Abidjan since 2004 and distributes yeasts and bread improvers throughout the Ivorian territory. It is also the commercial and technical support base for much of West and Central Africa.

More information :

Yeast, an essential ingredient for bread making

Yeast is a living organism, a microscopic single-celled fungus present on Earth for millions of years. Like human cells, yeast cells are alive and natural.

Lesaffre has been selecting and growing yeasts, not to be confused with baking powder (“baking powder”), for 165 years. The yeast cultivated by Lesaffre is used in the production of breads for its fermentative power. During bread-making, it is fermentation in three phases, which will make it possible to obtain a light, swollen bread and an airy crumb.

Live better tomorrow, thanks to ferments

Lesaffre contributes to a safer, healthier and more natural diet by developing micro-organisms such as yeasts but also bacteria.

These ferments have many properties that can be used in many fields, beyond baking. The ferments can, for example, be used as food supplements to contribute to the balance of the intestinal flora (the microbiota) in humans and animals. They reduce or avoid the use of antibiotics in animal nutrition, or reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

« Working together to better nourish and protect the planet »


Saf Challenge the baking competition organised by Lesaffre in Africa

will award the best bakers on 28th January 2020, in Abidjan


Always keen to promote the talent of bakers, Lesaffre launched the Saf Challenge in September 2019. More than 150 bakers from all over Africa took part in the 1st phase of the competition, during which they were invited to make a video illustrating their baker’s dream and post it on the Saf-Instant application (from 30th September to 29th October).

The 10 bakers who received the most votes on their video were selected for the 2nd part of the competition, which took place at Baking Center™ in Abidjan, from 25 to 29 January 2020. It was a practical baking part, during which the candidates prepared 2 original recipes based on Saf Instant yeast, in front of a jury of professionals.

A total of 9 countries are represented in the final: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Gambia, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Algeria, Madagascar and Cote d’Ivoire. During this second phase, the candidates gave the jury some nice surprises, presenting them original recipes and moving testimonials about their career paths and professional dreams…

The 10 finalists will all be present for the official inauguration of the Baking Center™ of Lesaffre Ivoire, before the results are revealed during a gala evening which promises to be colourful and emotional.

The winner of the SAF CHALLENGE will be awarded Tuesday, January 28, 2020 in Abidjan, with the title of “the most inspiring baker in Africa”.


Results of Saf Challenge on


THE MOST INSPIRING BAKER OF AFRICA will win a 40,000€ reward in the form of financial assistance for the realization of his dream, a makeover of his bakery, a year of free yeast, all this accompanied by personalized technical training.

The total earnings of the challenge amount to more than €50,000. 2 candidates will also win €2000 to reward their particularly creative recipes, the other finalists will each win €1000.


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