The process – explanations from Sylvain Tatreaux, branch manager

“We receive blackcurrants over a duration of three weeks here. They come from the producers in Burgundy or from other production places in France. The best solution for our clients was to freeze the blackurrants as close as possible to the place of their processing (in and around Dijon). We can handle up to 220 tonnes of blackcurrants per day. They arrive in crates of 17kg. In peak periods, there are 320 trucks coming and going per day on this site. We therefore give appointments to the producers.”

“Given the huge amount of blackcurrants to deal with in a short period of time, we cannot freeze them individually. This process takes too much time, and has to undergo temperatures of -35 to -50°C. In our warehouse, we store between -18 and -30°C.”

STEF Dijon – specialists for freezing blackcurrants

A huge majority of the blackcurrant liqueurs of the world come from Burgundy (France). Not amazingly, you can also find special equipments, infrastructures and companies for the same purpose. STEF Dijon is part of the chain, with solutions for freezing blackcurrants.
Special infrastructure for a special production

In 2014, STEF has adopted an important strategy for the whole cassis production chain. They decided to build a warehouse specially for the needs of the cassis industry in Burgundy. A huge cold storage room of 14.000 m3 is only a part of the whole investment. In total, 2.000 m² are dedicated to blackcurrant storage close to Dijon. Read more in the global press

STEF Dijon has an annual turnover of 28 million Euro and employs 159 people. Of course, not all of it thanks to blackcurrants only. But the existence of this unique site in France is closely linked to the blackcurrants – for the needs of the liqueur manufacturers. Walking through the warehouses, you can also find peaches, apricots, other berries and cherries. And also all kind of other deep frozen foodstuff.

For the needs of “Créme de cassis”

Every year, when the blackcurrant harvest starts in France, not only the growers are most busy. While the farmers get onto their harvesters in t-shirts and shorts, several seasonal workers put on heavy warm clothes and gloves. During the hottest time of the year, they will work in such dresses in the warehouses of STEF, a company specializing in refrigerated logistics. Because out of the 6000 tonnes of blackcurrants harvested in France, half will go into the production of “créme de cassis” (blackcurrant liqueur).

And of course, not all of these blackcurrant can be used immediately. Therefore, STEF Dijon has specialized in freezing blackcurrants.