The cream made in Normandy has always been exceptional.
In its farmland, where the green fields disappear into the horizon, the dairy-making knowledge of the people has become unique, and so you could say, that Normandy is the birthplace of cream.
Normandy offers an incomparable variety of landscapes: green meadows adorned with apple trees, the Seine valley, cliffs on the coast and also the farmland of Normandy that has charmed many with its alternating verdant hillsides, rich pastures, rustic hedgerows, rivers, forests, sunken lanes...
A rich soil, a temperate climate, abundant and frequent rains, not forgetting the sea breezes full of beneficial minerals, a pure and gentle sun... So many advantages to encourage growth, for a very large part of the year, of green lush grass, appreciated by the dairy cattle that produce milk of excellent quality.
This is how Normandy has forged its reputation throughout the world for the quality of its dairy products. As we say here, "In Normandy, we have good weather several times a day!"
Milk is the basic ingredient of cream and butter.
Their production depends simply on concentrating the fat in the milk. This concentration is varies, depending on the product. However, the principle of milk production has not changed in five thousand years! The cow grazes on the grass, ruminates and secretes the milk – after having given birth to a little calf, of course – and it only remains to milk it!
In Normandy, the cows spend longer outdoors than indoors, and they eat grass. They spend in average 210 days outdoors (from April to October). They spend the rest of the time in the cowshed, because like us they are sensitive to cold and humidity.
Dairy cattle eat grass in the meadows. Their diet is often supplemented with protein (frequently produced on site) in the form of corn silage or lucerne to provide energy.
100% of the milk producers adhere to the charter for good farming practices.
Our milk is collected from 1300 producers, heads of family-run farms. These small-sized herds (on average 47 milk cows for 80 hectares of land) are made up of cattle of the Prim'holstein and Norman breeds. The latter produces a rich milk, much sought-after and highly appreciated. The Norman cow is remarkable for its white head and dark brown ""spectacle"" around the eyes. It can be recognised by its three-coloured coat: brindled black, fawn and ""quail"" white. Its belly, like its head, is always white. About 42% of the herd is made up of Norman cattle.
Collection is mostly in Normandy, as there is no interest in racking up extra miles to transport the milk to our site in Condé-sur-Vire. The farmer's day follows the pattern of two daily milkings (one in the morning, one in the evening); the milk is stored in a refrigerated tank and the milk tanker calls every other day.
This locally collected raw material is however, not entirely sufficient for all the production at Condé-sur-Vire for the Elle & Vire brand. To meet our needs, we buy additional by itself materials thanks to partnerships developed with other local dairies (in Normandy or neighbouring Brittany) as well as from French factories within the Savencia group, to which we belong."