A shared philosophy
The women and men breeding Orylag® are utterly passionate. Their first and foremost driving force is their love for the animals and for a job well done. Being an Orylag® breeder is no ordinary condition: one must ensure the optimal comfort of animals and guarantee a stress-free atmosphere to improve the balanced growth of the animal.
11 breeders take care of about 1,200 animals per week, so 60,000 animals per year, and they are located in the South-West of France. Such a small scale is a sign of strength and of cooperation, of mutual assistance and solidarity between breeders. The breeders are currently testing breeding farms in which animals in semi-freedom conditions and aim at a cage-free breeding process by 2021 should the tests be positives.
First and foremost, Orylag® breeders are farmers, and most of them are operating in sustainable or organic agriculture. Breeding Orylag® integrates perfectly into the diversification of their family farming operations (cereal crops, vine cultivation, organic cattle, goat and pig farming).
It is not uncommon for breeders to promote their products on local markets to have consumers discover the taste and nutritional qualities of the Orylag’s® flesh.
Committed, every step of the way
The cooperative of Orylag® breeders created its own workshop to transform, enhance and adorn hides.
It handles its own slaughterhouse, which allows them to control the slaughtering conditions of its rabbits. The slaughterhouse is located close to the breeding farms so that the animal transport duration never exceeds two hours in order to limit the stress caused by waiting. Aware of the well-being of animals, each staff member of the slaughterhouse followed a training sanctioned by a certificate of competence.
Animals are put to death according to European regulations and the whole process is entirely traceable. A specially trained person examines each animal to evaluate its health status. Moreover, the anaesthesia is made through a specific, authorised and regularly checked device. This method – dully authorised and controlled by veterinary services – prevents the animal from suffering in any way. It forms a specific step of the slaughterhouse as part of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system and complies with European regulations of the food hygiene package.
The slaughterhouse also handles the promotion, distribution and monitoring of the exceptional flesh under the Rex du Poitou® brand.
All these professions have one purpose: act as protectors of the values promoted by the cooperative which considers women and men as individuals. Thus, the animal remains at the centre of an honest and balanced endeavour which promotes going back to a healthy and sustainable form of agriculture, one in which products are genuinely relevant.
1 woman, 1 man, 1 voice
The cooperative of Orylag® breeders comprises 11 associate breeders, and all decisions are taken in a collegial way. The way it works is: one person one vote.
Created 25 years ago, the cooperative is located in Surgères, in the South-West of France. The associate breeders are all really involved in the cooperative and in the rural life of their area.
The cooperative of Orylag® breeders guarantees the traceability, reliability and authentication of each hide.
The 11 breeders are the only ones in the world to breed this rabbit.