The transport of wheat by barge

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Our commitments to a sustainable future

86% of French people express strong expectations in terms of information on the products they buy* and 89% of French people say they prefer products from their region**. This is why we have implemented numerous actions to reduce our environmental footprint, which are reflected in our "A TABLE!".

One of our commitments - to contribute to a healthier future - includes the transportation of our raw material, wheat. To bring the wheat to all our mills, ecological transport is favored whenever possible: by barge, train or by a conveyor belt linking the wheat silo directly to the mill. Our wheat comes exclusively from France.

The transport of wheat by barge to our mill in Paris-Gennevilliers

Our mill in Paris Gennevilliers is the closest to the Eiffel Tower! Only 7 kilometers from the gates of Paris, this mill has the advantage of being located on the banks of the Seine.

Thanks to this positioning, since the installation of the mill in 1996, two thirds of the wheat supplies are made by barge. Most of the wheat is grown within a 125 km radius and comes from the Ile-de-France region via the Seine, Yonne, Marne, Oise...

We had the opportunity to meet Sébastien Picaud, boatman on the Capricieux and Mr & Mrs Maingault, boatmen on the Pen Duick. They have been supplying us with wheat by barge for many years. They work and live a real passion for their boat and share strong commitments for the environment.

"We started working for Grands Moulins de Paris in the 2000s and as it went well we continued. Today we have a very good relationship with Grands Moulins de Paris, they can count on us all the time", Jasmine Maingault, boatwoman on the Pen-Duick.


 Wheat transport by barge: how does it work?

The job of a boatman consists of transporting goods from point A to point B by water.

The barges can be supplied in two different ways:

  - The boats join the silos which are located on the banks of the Seine and which are supplied by trucks.

  - The boats are directly loaded by trucks that went to collect the wheat in silos located inland.

Whatever the type of loading, it is always done in the presence of a controller who carries out analyses on the quality of the wheat and controls the goods as they are loaded.

Certain prerequisites are also necessary to be able to transport wheat, a raw material for food: a clean, healthy, dry hold is required as well as a cover on the boat to protect the wheat from bad weather and dust. Loading and unloading must also be done in dry conditions, when it is not raining.

Once in Gennevilliers, the unloading is done thanks to the Vigan, a kind of big vacuum cleaner that sucks the wheat directly into the hold of the barge and directs it into the mill.

Both loading and unloading take several hours.


The transport of wheat by barge: an ecological transport

"Today, it is very important to be committed to the environment. As a boatman, I see directly the impact on nature and the changes over the years: the floods are more and more frequent, the water rises higher and higher..." Sébastien Picaud, boatman on the Capricieux.

We have chosen to favour transport by boat because it allows us to secure our supplies while having an ecological approach. Indeed, depending on its size, a barge can save the equivalent of 10 trucks on the road and thus reduce the pollution caused by this transport.


* (Source: Opinion Way and Ifop 2018)

** (Source: Kantar 2020)

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