Harvesting works in TERRE DE LIN: an organization reflecting the cooperative values
Harvesting works require flexibility and reactivity.
Pulling and ecapsulating require expensive equipment dedicated to flax culture. Some farmers in the cooperative have their own harvesting material; others don’t. Therefore, TERRE DE LIN has regularly invested in such equipments so as to support the farmers during those works. This investment also contributes to the fiber quality, since it allows more reactivity during the pulling and ecapsulating periods .
In TERRE DE LIN, a specific organization has been enforced for years following the Board of Director’s will: the cooperative wants to optimize each field and farmer’s revenue and at the same time, the farmer remains the one that will decide in the end on his own fields.
Therefore, 28 groups have been defined, making a real network on the cooperative territory to organize pulling and later encapsulating works. The 28 groups are coordinated by the harvesting works manager and the adherents relationship manager. In average, one group is composed of 12 to 20 farmers, all working with the same varieties so as to avoid variety blends. Those groups are led by a so called “chef de groupe” (group pilot) who organizes the works under the relationship agent technicians supervision: the technicians watch the quality of the fiber; they are independent and advise the farmers: they inform the group pilot whenever a field needs to be pulled or ecapsulated in priority due to its health status, the aim being to be as reactive as possible and to optimize each field’s quality.
Besides, there is a close relationship between maintenance agents and group pilots that contribute to allocate the machines between the groups (considering the surfaces, the variety, etc…).
Cooperation and coordination between all the actors from the farmers to the pilots and the technicians is a real key of success so as to remain flexible in the whole organization.
Another challenge is the machine drivers training and recruitment: the season usually lasts from the beginning of July until the end of August and the drivers ability, investment and availability are key factors of success.
In the end, this organization contributes both to support the farmers during this critical period in flax culture and to optimize the quality of the fiber and the seeds on each field. Thus it both contributes to the customer and adherents’ satisfaction .
It also reflects major values of the cooperative: Fairness, Transparency, Humanism, Proximity, Responsibility and Passion.