In a quarter o a century, small business born in a modest bungalow site posed next to the amily home became a genuine SME radiating on all continents. In Malaunay on a Hill West o Rouen, Nutriset grew by remaining true to a concept ery inno ati e at the time: in ent and manu acture products to treat se ere malnutrition o children. This choice meant a break with the traditional orm o ood aid o ten came to sell the agricultural surpluses in rich countries. "He had to lea e the nutritional needs o the a ected populations, listen to NGOs and rely on nutritionists", explains Michel Lescanne, the engineer who ounded Nutriset.
These exchanges will be born in the 1990s o the therapeutic, enriched milk mineral salts and ats. But these products had the disad antage o ha ing to be mixed with water be ore distribution. Where the duty o hospitalized children that respected the dilution rate and especially to a oid contamination with not always drinking water. "It was dri ing to cut o their amily en ironment and mobilize to the hospital a mother or aunt", explains Michel Lescanne. To resol e this problem, Nutriset has kicked the de elopment o a product ready to use, requiring no addition o water. The search will result in 1997 with the in ention o Plumpy Nut, a paste o peanuts. Used on a large scale in Niger during the 2005 amine this product is now unanimity among NGOs.
To meet demand and di ersi y its o erings, Nutriset has in ested three years EUR 27 million in its main production tool o Malaunay employs 130 employees and the capacity was increased rom 14,000 to 35,000 tons. But, during the same period, the company has also implemented a network o ranchisees in the country where the products ha e passed. Today, a dozen companies located in countries o A rica (Niger, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Mozambique) America (Republic Dominicaine) and Asia (India) belong to this network called Plumpy ield. "It is to produce there not to be less expensi e but to be closer to the user with the double aim o eeding the child and eed the worker who manu actures the product", pro ides Michel Lescanne. Today, the network employs 600 people and produces 4,000 tons o products per yearone- i th o the productions o the company. Nutriset, whose turno er is expected to reach EUR 60 million this year, wants to increase this proportion to hal by 2012.
Ne ertheless, SMEs to ethics, and insular Nutriset became world number one or the treatment o se ere malnutrition with o er two-thirds o the production capacity. But this success there today is much appetite: American organizations attacked the alidity o the patents that protect the technology or the production o Plumpy Nut. They say they act on behal o the competition law in considering that production could de elop to the bene it o a ected populations. Its detractors, Michel Lescanne responds that the problem o malnourished children access to the product is not a lack o production but a lack o unding or ood aid by the countries o the North. It also pro ides practice management "open" o its patents in particular through the Plumpy ield network. "In Ethiopia, more than 80 o products to treat se ere malnutrition o children are made locally." American justice should soon be resol ed.
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