Grande-Bretagne

Success story : Putting cheese on the British plate

{{The British are becoming more discriminating buyers and consumers of cheese. Feeding their
demand is Premier Cheese, the owners of a direct sales force and a shop. Their key concern is
that cheese is sold in an open manner to a growing and more discriminating public.}}

The British are becoming more discriminating buyers and consumers of cheese. Feeding their demand is Premier Cheese, the owners of a direct sales force and a shop. Their key concern is that cheese is sold in an open manner to a growing and more discriminating public.

Eric Charriaux and Amnon Paldi take the personal touch to retailing. In an era when supermarkets put the customers and the suppliers at a distance, make the selling process abstracted and cold, their approach is to go face to face. It is old fashioned, it is passionate, and of course, it is French.

Eric Charriaux is from Normandy, and was brought up with camembert. His partner Amnon Paldi is Israeli but has spent much time in France. The two make a formidable business partnership of 12 years standing. Their company Premier Cheese leads the UK field in its provision of quality cheeses to the trade and the public. Amnon, the business partner, says the business turns over a very healthy £5m.

Wherever you look in their organisation, from sourcing of product to the ultimate sale, the personal touch is evident. ‘We buy direct from producers, we sell direct to customers,’ says Eric. So Amnon spends a lot of time going round the farms where the cheese (and wine and charcuterie) is produced. Their suppliers, in France, Italy, Britain, Germany and elsewhere tend to be small, specialist and high quality. The amounts they manufacture will typically be too limited to interest a supermarket. But Premier Cheese will taste it, and take it. Amnon is a great fan of English cheese, and has some 170 on his books.

The key to their selection of cheese is their range and variety. Amnon says, ‘We have more French cheeses here than you will find in a standard cheese shop in France. Normally in France, with the exception of Paris, they only buy local cheeses. Whereas we have cheeses from all over France. We are cheese specialists. We are trying to have the range and the quality and we want to introduce people to new varieties.’ Amnon talks about going to meet farmers at their cottages on steep mountain sides, as he will not take a cheese without tasting it first. The company has two routes to selling cheese to the public. The first is through the many restaurants they supply across the country. The second is through their shop. But in either case, the personal approach is king. The company completely avoids telesales or other such remote selling methods.

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<doc475|left>Un article issu de INFO Magazine,
Mars 2010 / Avril 2010
une publication de la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie française en Grande Bretagne

Hannah Meloul, Editorial Assistant, INFO Magazine
Tel : +44 207 092 66 48
Site : www.ccfgb.co.uk - @ : [hmeloul@ccfgb.co.uk->hmeloul@ccfgb.co.uk]