A visitor of considerable note was recently welcomed to the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier. Our Tunisian distributor SEPCM paid us a visit, accompanied by Belgacem D’Khili, its key customer in the wine-growing industry. Organised from 27th to 29th May 2019, these meetings began in Loire Atlantique, before continuing in Saint Malo. The purpose of the meetings was to increase Groupe Roullier’s presence in the vineyard sector and develop wine-growing expertise.

A subsidiary of Groupe Roullier specialised in products specifically suited to each country in the Plant Nutrition field, Vitas directly markets Groupe Roullier’s Agricultural Supplies range in countries where there are no subsidiaries. To do so, it works with importers and distributors exclusive to the country. The main territories involved are Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Vitas primarily operates in the water-solubles and fertigation market.

Last May, Vitas welcomed a customer of our distributor SEPCM (Doghri Group), based in Tunisia. This invitation was also arranged by wine-growing specialists from the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier: Marie Le Néouanic and researcher Mustapha Arkoun. A graduate oenologist from Université de Montpellier and a doctor in Agronomic Science, Belgacem D’Khili is also an international viticultural expert in charge of the Castel Group’s interests in Tunisia. This specialist is currently managing an area of 1,100 hectares, 240 hectares of which are vineyards. The estate is located in Jendouba, in northwestern Tunisia. During his visit, he was accompanied by Chebil Mehrez, the Managing Director of SEPCM. 

From Nantes to Saint-Malo: a multi-stage meeting  

While the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier was the final stage in these meetings on the wine-growing industry, everything began in Nantes on 27th May 2019, where a meeting was organised with Hervé Valette, Managing Director of Coopérative des Maraîchers Nantais and winegrower. This provided a chance for these experienced professionals to discuss the subject that brought them together. 

The second stage for our distributor and its customer was the visit to the Herbauges estate in Loire Atlantique. This 120-hectare vineyard is located at the heart of the Muscadet vineyard and exports 900,000 bottles each year, 80% of which are for the United States and the United Kingdom.  

The last stage was the visit to the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier on 29th May. Our visitors were able to take part in a training session, presented by Marie Le Néouanic, on the approach to fertilisation. For his part, Belgacem D’Khili shared Tunisian vineyard techniques. The experts from the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier also demonstrated the applications of solid fertilisers and biostimulants in the wine-growing sector.  

The visit went really well and Vitas should be able to develop sales in specialised markets in Tunisia.Charles Lafaurie, Africa and Middle East Export Manager.

Increasing our presence in the wine-growing sector

The main subject of these meetings was the Groupe Roullier’s approach to vineyard nutrition in difficult conditions. 

These meetings and the resulting discussions proved fruitful and will lead to the application of our fertilisation plan for Belgacem D’Khili’s estate, both for the vineyards and the citrus and olive trees. Tests will also be carried out to compare the customary Tunisian growing practices and Vitas’ growing practices. The tests will extend to organoleptic stages because Belgacem D’Khili is also an international expert in olive oil, and as such participates in numerous panels in France and worldwide.  

Welcoming the only Tunisian person to hold the French agricultural merit award is an honour and will enable us to increase the presence of the Groupe Roullier’s products in the viticultural sector. A partner like this is a major boon, and will enable us to increase our investment across this sector.  

We have a presence across various vineyards in France, Italy and Portugal, where market share in these countries is very significant.