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VIDEO. Thousands of liters “that we gave to the pigs” and “that go back to the little jars”: how Lactalis would have “wet” the milk of its dessert creams



Would he have paid a high price for having questioned the methods of the dairy giant Lactalis? Dominique Czerkies believes he was trapped. This trade unionist was fired in 2018 – for a reason that he disputes – from the factory in Cuincy, in the North, where the small jars of the La Laitière brand are produced.

Here is what he explains to journalists from the investigative media Disclose, whose investigation is to be seen this evening in “Special Envoy”. In the factory, the production line pipes are regularly rinsed with water, then the mixture of water and milk products is stored in a tank. Normally, it is intended for animals, but according to Dominique Czerkies, in this factory, this mixture would on the contrary have been sent to other vats, called “recycling”, and reinjected in small doses into the vats of milk products … to manufacture new desserts.

Lactalis has already been sentenced for “wetting” in 2008

Dominique Czerkies claims to have denounced this recycling in the firm’s dessert creams, a practice that puts him “angry”. Some of his colleagues even told him that they sometimes had “ashamed to work there”.

Adding water to milk is illegal with respect to yoghurt and fluid milk. Called “wetting”, this practice has already earned the former boss of Lactalis a conviction in 2008. Even if dessert creams have no regulatory definition, the added water should appear in the list of ingredients. But it is not mentioned …

“Always earn more money and always throw away less product”

A former team leader at the Cuincy plant agreed to speak to reporters anonymously. For him, recycling would have aimed at a single objective: profit… to the detriment of quality. It would be “always earn more money and always throw away less product. What we gave to pigs at the time, we did not put in small jars. And when it is thousands of liters every day that go back in pots, that’s a lot of little pots produced in addition “.

Extract from “Lactalis above the laws?”, An investigation by Marianne Kerfriden, Inès Léraud, Geoffrey Livolsi, Mathias Destal, Sébastien Sega / Disclose to see on October 22 in “Special Envoy”.

You can read the entire survey on Disclose.

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS & Android), “Magazines” section.

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