Organic month in Charente-Maritime: “There is a total disconnection of consumers”

Organic pig farming, aromatic plants, direct sales… La Ferme des sens in Vandré has chosen diversification and enhancement.


They are more of the measured kind and more on the side of pedagogues than breakers to get messages across, but say “that after all, perhaps a little bit of everything is needed in an ecosystem”. On the occasion of organic monththey will open the doors of their farm on November 29 to many colleagues, converted or not, often prey to many concerns and in search of questions.

“Changed my vision”

At only 24 and 27 years old, this duo of entrepreneurs already has a lot to transmit and defend. Alexis Bonnet and Louis Boutteaud began by looking elsewhere before returning to their roots. “I wanted to work on the farm from the age of 16. But I wanted to see something else first. So I left to do a preparatory literature in Poitiers, then a university of management then I returned to the agricultural BTS, ”says Louis Boutteaud, son of Jean, pioneer of organic in the 90s and grandson of André, former president. of the FNSEA (National Federation of Farmers’ Unions) repented of chemical products.

We wanted to create value rather than expand”

“I have a conventional farmer dad. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this job. I saw my father working too much for not much. I left to do a BTS in agricultural mechanics. But during a replacement with organic farmers, I discovered a more serene social climate, it completely changed my vision of agriculture, ”recalls Alexis Bonnet.


Since 2020, they have been three partners (Alexis, Louis and Jean) and one employee living – and earning – on the farm. A 140-hectare organic farm that plays the card of diversification and enhancement. “We have started a turn. Of course, we kept organic, biodynamic, but we needed changes. We wanted to create value rather than expand. But how to make more money by being more numerous and without getting bigger? We therefore launched into aromatic plants, which yield more per hectare than wheat or corn, we modified our organic pig workshop and we do direct sales, ”explains Louis Boutteaud.

Consumers are unaware of the origin of products, the cycle of the seasons…”

Because they are convinced: there are no organic farmers without well-informed consumers. “There is a total disconnection of consumers. They don’t know where the food on their plates comes from, the cycle of the seasons, the origins of the products… The other day, one of our colleagues had to explain that flour was wheat! We must create value, links, with consumers, with our neighbours, bring people to the farm, restore taste and promote social interactions! “, continues the young peasant.


For the past year, on Fridays, customers have been able to come and stock up on organic pork and legumes on the farm. “Direct selling may not be an economic model, but it is sustainable, it secures a local, more stable, long-term clientele,” hopes Alexis Bonnet. They also took to social media to announce their next sale and film their harvest.

Organic in 2021 in Charente-Maritime

This represents 531 organic farms (i.e. 10% of farms) for 25,000 hectares of organic land.

They say they understand what “the miracle of phytosanitary products” may have represented at a certain time and “their conventional colleagues for whom doing their job well means having performance and big tractors”. They do another job: “We build and sculpt the farm that makes us dream. We want to do a job that makes us happy. Agriculture is more than food. It also means working on the landscapes, creating good conditions for the animals, the soil, the water… If we paid the farmers for that too, it would trigger a virtuous circle…”, considers Louis Boutteaud.

Before letting us go, he uproots a young shoot of barley, sown a few days ago. Earth and lots of living organisms stick to the barely nascent root system. “You wouldn’t see that in conventional. And in addition it smells of humus. On November 29, some may be surprised that there is so much life in the ground.

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Organic month in Charente-Maritime: “There is a total disconnection of consumers”