THE WHOLE concept In vidEo
A watercress farm in the early morning, illuminated by a ray of sunshine… A watercress farmer who explains his job. An industrial manager who details the drying method we used and why it is eco-responsible. A film made by professionals. This report tells you everything about our activity! From the culture of watercress to its drying is «The story of an innovation in watercress».
THE INNOCRESS TEAM
olivier robert de massy
opErations AND R&D MANAGER
THE BEGINNING WITH WATERCRESS
Nearly ten years ago, we, Irene Inchauspé and Olivier Robert de Massy, bought the water mill in Moyenneville. And next to the ground we discovered … a watercress farm !
We got to know the watercress farmer and tasted his watercress in soup or salads. Then this watercress farmer wished to sell his watercress farm which we bought !
We then wondered why, while trucks were coming from Germany to buy Mr. Victor PUYPE’s watercress, this plant did not arouse much interest in France. This surprised the CURIOUS that we are by nature; we were also concerned to see this small economic activity decline in the general indifference. So we decided to study the subject.
SEVERAL STUDIES ON WATERCRESS
Since we had no agricultural or agri-food skills, in 2013 we turned to the UniLaSalle Institute in Beauvais, a large school that trains agricultural engineers.The conclusions of the first report were not optimistic: in 25 years, watercress production in Picardy had been divided by three. Why did this happen ? Firstly, because of a lack of innovation in production methods, but also in the product itself, as fresh watercress is not adapted to modern lifestyles.
Indeed, this precious plant is fragile: the bunch bought at the market turns yellow after three days and is hardly usable anymore.
However, we PERSISTED and in 2014, following a new study that convinced us of the many virtues of watercress, we decided to embark on the watercress adventure.
Our goal? Find a solution to consume watercress differently!
THE DISCOVERY OF ZEODRATION
And why not dry it ?
At UniLaSalle Institute there was a small zeodrator, a machine allowing to dry plants and fruits while preserving their flavor, color and nutrients. Thanks to this zeodration methods, it becomes possible to dry gently, without heating, creating vacuum or almost, in order to keep a totally natural method of production.
After many tests and analyses on this powder carried out by Unilasalle and then by the Mérieux Nutrisciences and Phytodia laboratories, we are convinced : zeodrated watercress powder is a must.
THE LAUNCH OF INNOCRESS
We succeeded to convince the Hauts de France region and the BPI (a public investment bank) by responding to a call for project «innovation in the food industry».
Our project was selected; the Hauts de France region and the BPI gave us aid, on condition that private investors also intervene. So we raised funds. We had to be PATIENT, but we did it.
And that’s how, since April 1, 2019 (it’s not a joke) after four years of research and work, we are dedicated to the development of Innocress, created in 2015. Aline Lesage-Roussel, agronomist engineer at UNILASALLE and also a farmer joined us on this date to become company’s director, in charge of R&D in particular. We are now three like the Musketeers.
At your disposal at +33 6 08 41 67 27