Founded in 1920, FALA (Fabrique Alsacienne de Levure et d’Alcools), which became SIL FALA (Société Industrielle de Levures FALA) in 1967 after its acquisition by Lesaffre Group, has become one of the leading suppliers of fresh yeast in Europe.
Some 100 years after its creation, the company has taken a new step in its development and changes its name to Lesaffre Panification France. This change of name comes at a time when Lesaffre group wishes to accelerate its investments in industry 4.0 and to make the site of its Strasbourg subsidiary a spearhead of this evolution.
From FALA to Lesaffre Panification France, 100 years of innovation and commitment to its customers
In 1920, the partners of Maison Léon Haguenauer et Cie, an import-export company, decided to start manufacturing yeast and created FALA in Strasbourg. Since then, innovation and commitment have been the key words in the company’s DNA.
Indeed, since its creation, and more rapidly after its acquisition by Lesaffre, the company has never ceased to innovate and diversify. Today, it markets all the products offered by Lesaffre in the field of bread-making. From Kastalia liquid yeast to the recently launched L’Hirondelle liquid organic yeast and cardboard-free packaging, product innovations have punctuated the company’s history.
“Yeasts are living organisms whose new properties and benefits are discovered everyday thanks to our R&D centers and Baking Centers™. For our bread-making activity, they enable constant innovation in response to the changing needs of our customers and consumer tastes. At our production sites, such as the one in Strasbourg, these innovations are implemented using state-of-the-art equipment. It is this capacity for innovation that enables Lesaffre to be a privileged partner for its customers in the bakery world”, adds Antoine Baule, Lesaffre’s CEO.
Committed to and proud of its origins, Lesaffre Panification France also defends the quality “made in France” through its Origine France Garantie certification. Concerned about the quality of its raw materials, but also about the impact of its activity on the environment, the company is also a member of the “Culture Raisonnée Contrôlée” (Controlled Sustainable Agriculture) network.
2021 : on the way to industry 4.0
Backed by its know-how and 100 years of expertise, and supported by the Lesaffre group’s skills and capacity for innovation, the company invests heavily in a continuous improvement process. For the past 10 years, the company has been investing an average of 4 million euros per year to develop and maintain the site. Over the past two years, the Strasbourg site has benefited from two major investments:
– The sourdough workshop in 2019, which is one of the first three Lesaffre companies worldwide.
– The fully automated packaging line for 42g yeast cubes installed in April 2021.
In line with these recent innovations, the company is launching a 5-year investment plan, which should make it possible to use the new technologies of Industry 4.0 (artificial intelligence, artificial vision, predictive maintenance, robotization, etc.) to achieve its ambitions.
“We have decided to launch a vast modernization plan to improve our equipment and move towards Industry 4 .0. This modernization is necessary to meet the expectations of consumers who want to have access to new types of products, such as organic, superfoods or sourdough bread. We must anticipate these trends and adapt to them while maintaining the operational excellence of our production site in order to continue to support our bakery customers,” says Lionel Joly, Managing Director of Lesaffre Panification France.