Located in the city at 1,000 m altitude, the Roche family has been raising Aubrac cows, free-range pigs and organic laying hens for four generations!
The Roche family farm in Lafarre, recently recognized at the Agricultural Fair, has been in existence for four generations. It all started when Marie-Louise and Pierre Roche bought the Lafarre farm. In 1969, Roger took over running dairy cows and goats, selling milk and making goat cheese before turning his attention to Charolais suckler cows. In 1997, Stéphane took over the family business again, enlarged the flock, built a chicken coop with 3,000 laying hens, then a second with 6,000 chickens, integrated free-range pigs into the business and handed over Charolais cows near Aubrac. In 2012, his wife Patricia came to the farm, followed by their daughter Laurine on January 1is April 2021. Their second daughter, Héloïse, 18, whose boyfriend is a butcher, will start an agricultural BTS next year and intends to join them. Dylan Faurite, full-time employee, and Brigitte Fourel, part-time employee, complete the staff of Sardinia’s Gaec (agricultural group of community holdings).
A family passion
And everyone has their role: Stéphane is responsible for the cows and social relations and oversees the entire farm, Patricia takes care of the marketing of the products and the recently installed accounting, and Laurine takes care of the management of the chicken coops and the accounting of the farm his mother. “Being a farmer is a real passion, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing a job that keeps you busy 12 hours a day or 84 hours a week, 365 days a year. And then my friend is also a farmer in Montpezat-sous-Bauzon‘ says Lauren.
A permanent further development
The 180 hectare farm, of which 60 hectares can be mechanized, currently has 55 Aubrac mothers, ie around 160 cattle, 9,000 organic laying hens producing 8,000 eggs/day and 180 places in rotating pigsty, ie 520 pigs/ Year. Just a year ago, Stéphane, Patricia and Laurine Roche teamed up with Sébastien Bouillot, former butcher in Chatelard and mayor of Saint-Pierre-sur-Doux, to take over the former butcher’s shop in Saint-Bonnet-le-Cold: the Salaisons The Sources delicatessen butcher opened its doors on March 12, 2021. All the farm’s products are processed in the Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid workshop, which makes it possible to offer a range of diversified products: rillettes, pâté de tête, country pâté, sausages, etc., made in the butcher’s shop in Saint-Bonnet- le-Froid and in various grower shops in the region.
A legitimate recognition
The quality of these products has just been recognized at the International Agricultural Fair, where for three days they exhibited the products of the Gaec and their butchery. The company also took part in the general agricultural competition, which awarded three of its products: its pâté en croute with a gold medal, its country pâté and its cured sausage each with a silver medal. “It is a recognition of the quality of our products and a recognition of the work we do every day to exploit Lafarre‘ says Stéphane Roche happily.
The Effects of the War in Ukraine
If the health crisis took a toll by bringing them a local clientele, then that clientele quickly forgot about them… On the other hand, the effects of the war in Ukraine are now being felt very strongly. “on Subit the increase in fuel costs, the prices of raw materials, feed and especially grain, because we buy feed for our chickens and pigs. The surge in commodities like iron, which was 80% last week, may seem trivial, but again, this affects us directly when it comes to the purchase of animal gates‘ says Stephane Roche.
When Stéphane, Patricia and Laurine work on the farm of Lafarre and the butchery of Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, Stéphane simultaneously exercises the functions of mayor of Lafarre, president of Cuma (cooperative for the use of agricultural implements) de Nozières, president the Lyre louvetonne, the Lalouvesc Harmony Orchestra, in which his children also play. At Gaec du Sardier, work is not a constraint, it is simply a vision of life!