Roquette wishes to build quality relationships with all its suppliers, because they are part of what makes the company successful. That’s why long term relationships are favoured. This continuity in relationships help both parties improve to reach the quality Roquette customers expect.
Thanks to relationships based on trust and built over the years with its suppliers, Roquette benefits from services complying with its specifications and provides a quality of service noticed by its customers.
Tools and procedures have been implemented to approve strategic suppliers and set up precise purchasing specifications and data.
Roquette also asks its suppliers to comply with its ethical charter and its code of conduct to ensure that particular care will be paid to the respect of human rights and labour regulation.
Roquette expects its suppliers and sub-contractors to commit to respecting and enforcing respect of all labour regulations, and more specifically those arising from the ILO conventions concerning child labour, forced labour, discrimination and the working conditions of foreigners, as well as to ensure that the conditions on the workplace are not abusive, illegal or exploitive.
Likewise, particular care is paid to security (fight against misconduct).
These ethics and values are fundamental elements of the relationship between Roquette and its supplier.
The first purchase item: agricultural raw commodities
Roquette’s main suppliers are those who deliver raw commodities (maize, wheat, potatoes and peas).
Customer and the final consumer satisfaction depend on the quality of raw materials. Roquette built privileged relationships with its mostly local suppliers to be able to meet higher standards than what is usually expected.
The supplier approval process as well as the approval of batches entering the processing plant are defined by both partners and validated by analyses performed by the deliverer and by Roquette upon reception. Several thousand analyses are thus performed every year concerning physical (size or weight of grain, starch content, protein quality, ripeness of grain) or health (mycotoxins, pesticides or heavy metals) criteria.
Traceability of raw materials and end products down to the final customer is ensured at each step of the production process. Consumer demands are also taken into account, hence the use of non GMO raw commodities in the European and Asian plants.
Long lasting relationships can be built with local suppliers, and work can be done to limit environmental impact. Whenever possible, Roquette transports grain to its plants by barge, by - simple or double – train, and resorts to road transport only when there is no other solution.
Because of the current volatility of grain prices, and thanks to its stable and predictable needs, Roquette can anticipate its purchases by signing long term contracts with its suppliers. These also help stabilise prices and cover risks.
Maize is the most common source of starch. Every year, more than 3.8 million tons can be processed in Roquette plants. The Keokuk plant is at the heart of the Corn Belt, the largest maize production area in the United States. Roquette also processes specific varieties such as waxy maize (rich in amylopectin) or white maize (rich in amylose). In Italy and in China, Roquette has signed specific contracts with farmers for these varieties, which are followed up by engineers who are familiar with the Roquette culture. Contacts with seed producers have made available seeds that are adapted to the climate.
The size of the European wheat production has made wheat a competitive source of starch. That is why wheat starch plants mostly exist in Europe. Wheat contains gluten, a protein with unique viscoelastic properties used in the bread industry. Roquette processes approximately 1.9 million tons a year - 5,000 tons a day.
Potato starch has qualities unique in the starch family. The plant in Vecquemont, France, can process more than 1 million tons of potatoes a year. Production contracts have been signed between farmers and the Growing Department of the Vecquemont plant. Roquette is working hand in hand with seed producers to obtain varieties with a high starch content, adapted to the local climate and disease resistant. These varieties are engineered specifically for starch production and are not normally meant for food use.
Proteaginous peas represent a new sector for Roquette. Every year, 80 000 tons are processed in a dedicated plant in Vic-sur-Aisne, France. This raw material yields a vegetable protein which is widely appreciated by consumers and put forward by public health institutions. Pulses have been part of our diet from ancient times and will represent an increasing part of it. Notwithstanding the nutritional properties of pea and its constituents, this agricultural raw material requires little pesticide, little water, no nitrogen fertilizer - since it draws nitrogen from the air - and is well adapted to crop rotation.