The SICA COUFIDOU was born in 1964. It was one of the first co-operative enterprise of commercialization of the Agen prune, which gathered the producers of Sainte-Livrade-sur-Lot (47) and of the neighbouring towns.
It started with some 20 members with a production of 300 tons a year. From the beginning, it diversified its activity by producing (along with the prunes, prune curd and prune juice) dainties and prunes with soft centers. It directed its distribution towards retail trade.
The corporation followed a parallel course in 1977 by entering supermarkets and developing export.
In 1989 the corporation grew in a major way with the creation of the “Union des Pruniculteurs de France” (UPF) which gathered 5 producer co-operative societies (COUFIDOU, COOPESI, FRUALE, PRUCOT and COPRUMON).
Thanks to the contribution of capital of the new members, COUFIDOU produced 3,000 tons a year for 80 producers.
Its production varied again with brandy fruit and chocolate coated prunes.
In the same year, COUFIDOU acquired the SARL (limited liability company) BUTTIFRUITS and opened a factory shop which sold sold the products of the factory and a range of local products.That is how COUFIDOU started selling dry fruit in 2003.
The policy of innovation combined to the policy of quality used by COUFIDOU was rewarded in 2004, 2005 and 2006 with the Ruban Bleu Intersuc in the “Spécialité de France” category for the Coufidélice Agen prunes with a brandy and orange prune curd center.
The COUFIDOU production is commercialized by means of a complementary distribution network :
- to a loyal clientele of wholesalers, retailers, delicatessens, confectioners and manufacturers,
- to a network of supermarkets and hypermarkets,
- since December 2009, COUFIDOU has been offering a selection of products on the on line boutique of its net site.
A policy of development along 4 lines
With a rate of returned goods virtually nil, COUFIDOU shows the success of its zero fault policy
- made to measure
The answer to specific requests is the best proof of the capacities of COUFIDOU to diversify the techniques valorization of the prune
- development of products
COUFIDOU supports the growth of top-of-the-line product with a high added value : half-baked prunes, confectionary and by-products.
- Development of the commercial team : a recruiting program of young graduates is under way to ensure the development of the distribution of the new products and the distribution in super and hypermarkets.
Keep alive the spirit of the co-operative
The organization in a co-operative of COUFIDOU needs, along with the subtle management and an understanding of the market, a real co-operative spirit where the producers rely on each other to ensure the smooth running and development of their holdings. Mutual aid and open-mindedness are the foundation stones of the co-operative society, bases that the president, Patrick Biasotto and the general manager, Jean-Marc Suau, is doing his utmost to impart to all the levels of the structure.
Where payments are concerned, the co-operative society remunerates its producers in an above board way according to a price grid negociated so as to respect the European regulations.
COUFIDOU in figures*
The average year turnover of COUFIDOU is 6 million euros.
Half the production is commercialized in the EU and the other half in the rest of the world.
COUFIDOU handles 3,000 tons of Agen dried prunes a year, for 65 producers united in 5 co-operative societies.The team numbers 40 collaborators.