Are you a gourmet ? So are the inhabitants of Coeur de Bastides, and they are proud to make you discover their specialties! Discover how the hazelnut producers in this area decided to work together and formed a ‘coöperative’ 40 years ago!
In 1971, hazelnut producers created the Association Nationale des Producteurs de Noisettes (ANPN). In 1979, this association created the Agri-Noisette cooperative in Casseneuil. These producers (who were real pioneers with this partnership) wanted to secure their agricultural income through diversification of crops. They also wanted to develop their harvests thanks to the status of the cooperative. In 1983, Agri-Noisette moved to Cancon and created the Koki brand, whose logo is a squirrel.
Renamed Unicoque in 1990, nowadays the cooperative brings together 350 producers working in the same sector. Its missions: the organization of the hazelnut harvest and the marketing of all the fruits (walnuts and hazelnuts).
In 2011, Koki opened a shop in Cancon, to be able to present the hazelnut products directly, without intermediaries.
Numerous technological innovations in agronomy are made every day: water management, the mechanization of harvests, sorting and drying of fruits ...
Since 1979, Unicoque has successfully introduced a new variety of hazelnuts to the world market: the Lara variety. Almost the whole French production of hazelnuts (98%) is now done in partnerships and this production represents 50% of the European market (for hazelnuts sold in the shell), and 1% of the market, world wide.
According to the French newspaper Les Echos, Unicoque is one of the 500 most dynamic French companies.
Some producers have chosen not to join the cooperative and to work more locally, with French chefs and pastry chefs, and to produce their own products (like hazelnut oil and hazelnut spread) and to sell them online.
Photo credits: © Lezbroz