He started his Les 2 Marmottes adventure 18 years ago. The years go by but his passion for the job remains unchanged. His work is rich and varied, enhanced by the encounters that have taken place over the years. And as Richard is a great sharer, he has agreed to share a bit more about his role with you.
At the Burrow, when you want information about one of our producers, Richard's door's the one to knock on. And you'll never leave disappointed because he has plenty of stories to tell. He has a long-standing relationship with our pickers. Partnerships based on trust and listening to each other help Les 2 Marmottes to move forward, improve and continually offer new things.
These relationships are priceless to our Quality Manager, who visits the farms every March to ensure that all the conditions are right for a successful harvest, along with François, the crop master. A necessary step in making our 100% herbal teas!
At Les 2 Marmottes we like to offer you the best and Richard is someone who doesn't need to be told twice. Quality is his thing. Most of the harvesting begins in June/July. This is an important time for our Quality Manager, who never misses a beat. At each harvest, he takes part in the tasting phase alongside our producers. Taste, smell and appearance are all checked... And yes, at Les 2 Marmottes it's all about harmony. Every sense is taken into account as the plants are examined and compared with the previous harvest. If they tick all the boxes, then the crop can be harvested.
The plants are then sent to three independent laboratories for a complete analysis:
- Varietal recognition (how the plant has adapted to its environment: climate, soil etc...)
- Checking for contaminants (heavy metals, pesticides, micro-toxin)
- Microbiology (research into all the micro-organisms present in the soil)
That's right! Richard's work is far from over. Once all these stages have been completed, the plant is further worked on at the burrow. Time for processing: lines are cleaned, granulometry checks, plant density checks and cutting checks are carried out. The whole process rigorously overseen by our quality manager. Our recyclable cardboard boxes also require attention, they undergo 17 quality control checks, such as symmetry, weight, cutting, sealing and stocking.
There are so many stages, all overseen by Richard, it takes a month and a half to make a herbal tea, from field to cup. Just goes to show, not all marmots hibernate...!