CHAMPIGNONS

World of Monteil

WILD MUSHROOMS

Wild mushrooms cannot be cultivated. Mushrooms’ growth depends on many factors, which humans cannot control (soil and floral composition, rain levels, temperature, sunshine) and the mushroom picking is done by independent pickers, which are most of the time farmers and rural residents.

The hunting and picking methods stay very traditional: a wooden basket, a hazelnut wood stick, a pocketknife, pair of boots and above all, a well-developed sense of orientation to remember exactly where in a forest or a field the good spots are. Spots, which were often indicated by a grand-father under a seal of secrecy.

Chanterelle picker

Weighing of fresh cep

After the mushroom picking, pickers meet up at collection points located in large producing areas.  
In these areas, which are led by independent traders and the Monteil’s employees, different varieties of edible mushrooms are gathered. There they check at first the quality of the products to determine the edibility and the sanitary state of mushrooms. They also determine the destination of every pack, it will go either to industry or to the fresh produce market. The mushrooms are placed in a cold storage (in refrigerated cabinet if possible).
Every night the goods are collected in each producing area by refrigerated vehicles to be transported to shipping and processing sites between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Then the Monteil’s employees start to work. They are specialized in quality checking while the goods arrive, selection, calibration and cleaning. All these tasks stay manual in Monteil company in order to control many times the edibility and the conformity of the products. The annual volume of mushrooms processed this way can be about 1500 tonnes (the volume depends on climatic variations and can halve from one year to another).

 

Above, sorting of chanterelles

 

Calibration of ceps

  Below, workshop with punnets 

The next step is the packaging and the shipping. For this Monteil company had to develop specific ways and means because of the fragility of its products and the diversity of demands.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

The Monteil company ships its fresh or other products in more than 50 countries. The company is able to serve each client from anywhere in the world in 48 hours.

 

THE COMPANY AND THE RANGE

In 1920 the Monteil company was created  by Antoine Monteil in the heart of the wooded area exceptional for quality and quantity of boletus. The Monteil company has, since its beginning, focused in the gathering and the marketing of fresh boletus.
From 1950 Antoin’s son Jean Monteil and his wife Elise develop  the Monteil et Fils Company by widening the range of shipping with fresh chanterelles, morels, trumpets and hedgehog mushrooms, which are very plentiful and of a very high quality in Brive region.
Since 1970, with the entry of Jean-Claude and then Michel, Jean and Elise’s suns, the Monteil facilities sell 30 varieties of fresh mushrooms.

The company has always sought to diversify the range of its services:

- either by the traditional products: tinned wild mushrooms (1971), dried mushrooms (1973), frozen mushrooms (1974)

- or by the development of new products (18 new ranges in less than 20 years):

  • Juice of wild mushrooms, (1989)
  • Frozen cooked wild mushrooms ready to eat: (Range «Les Poêlées des Bois», 1990) see photo opposite, cooking of “poêlées”.
 
 
  • The natural powder extracts of wild mushrooms: (range «Boscarom», 1990)
  • Fresh wild mushrooms punnets for retail (range «Les Petits Paniers», 1991) see photo opposite.
  • Black truffle oil (1992)

  • Mushroom flours, dried mushroom chips: (range «La Boutique du Champignon», 1993) see photo opposite.
 

 

  • Fresh wild mushrooms punnets for retail (Barquettes de champignons) (second generation, specially designed to resist, conserve and make attractive all fresh produce shelves, 1995). Photo opposite: The Monteil company winning the price Image and Attractiveness of the SIAL 96 for this package.
  • Wild mushrooms in brine slightly acidified: (range industry and caterers, 1996)
  • Pre-cooked frozen wild mushrooms (Range «Les Oréades», 1997)
  • Italian specialities: white truffle oil, boletus marinated in olive oil (Range «Toccata», 1998)

 

·        Blanched mushrooms ready for use (range  «la 5ème GAMME», 1999)

·        Stuffed mushrooms (boletus, chanterelles, range «LES FARCIS», 2000)

 

 
 

·      Fresh wild mushrooms in protected parcel (range «COLIS Sécurité», 2001)

·      Fresh wild mushrooms ready for use (range «les CHAMPIGNONS NETS», 2002)

 
  ·        Grounds of wild mushrooms (range «les HACHIS», 2003)

·      Dried wild mushrooms in chips and chunks ready for use (range les P.A.I. ; 2004)

·      Frozen wild mushrooms in chips and chunks ready for use (range les P.A.I. ; 2005)

 

 

 

 

·      Wild mushrooms in herbed juice (range «la Tombée de champignons» 2006)

·      Wild mushrooms cooked in their juice (range «Les Cuisinés», 2007)

 

 

This development has been underpinned by the active policy of putting in place supply channels, research and production methods:

  • Building of modern production, packaging and shipping unit on more than a hectare in the industrial area of Cana-Est in Brive (1985)
  • Setting up of a permanent buying center in Saugues (Haute-Loire) for processing of mountain varieties in fresh and dried state (1986)
  • Establishment of the brokerage office in Barcelona in Spain for the better control of the South European production’s sales (1987)
  • Creation of the company "Le Comptoir du Champignon SARL", responsible for the research, promotion and quality control (1988)
  • Creation of the development and investment company “Monteil ID”, charged of gathering together all the companies and taking part in appearing foreign companies (1989)

Staff of Brive in Cana-Est

 
  • Extension of Cana-Est facilities and 50% increase of the capacity of production (1990)
  • Creation of the a subsidiary in Portugal (1993)
  • Development of the purchase network un the Northeast of France (Morvan, Vosges) and creation of partnership with the Baltic States (1994)
  • Doubling of the capacity of packaging frozen products (see photo opposite) and creation of a new workshop exclusively reserved to punnet packaging for fresh departments in supermarkets (1995)
  • Opening of the commercial subsidiary (filiale commerciale) in New York to develop sales and purchases in the USA (1998)

 

·      Enlargement of buildings in Brive-la-Gaillarde for storage and creation of receiving refrigerated dock with the agreement of the simplified procedure of raw materials’ clearance (1999).

·      Associate to set up a sorting and selection depot of wild mushrooms in Valladollid, Spain (1999).

·      Setting up of approved for exports point of purchase and processing in Morocco to control the quality of Moroccan wild mushrooms at source and develop the African markets (2002).