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Innovating livestock farming

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“This method is used to generate heat from the fermentation process of manure-based biomass,” explains Marketing and PR Manager Alexandra Briot. “The farmers can use the heat directly for their own needs or sell the energy to EDF. The idea for such plants is not new. However, up until now, they had to be used by several farmers in order to achieve the necessary capacity. As a result, the farmers were dependent on each other. Now, the plants can be tailor-made to the individual needs of the farmers. There is no need to rely on anyone else anymore and the process provides a welcome additional source of income. With this new development, we can complement our portfolio and are able to offer solutions from the cleaning of the barns to the distribution of the natural fertilizer on the fields right through to the utilization of the manure.”

At present, Sermap is carrying out several pilot projects with its new solution in cooperation with local farmers. Initial results are promising. For this year, the company expects to accomplish around 20 new installations.

“The system is not cheap,” says Ms. Briot. “But, it pays for itself within only a few years.” Sermap was founded by Henri Binetruy in 1968. Since 2011, the company has been operating under the management of the current owner Gilles Devillers, who introduced a range of new industrial processes and innovations.

Today, Sermap sells its products under two brands. These are Miro, accounting for around 80% of annual turnover, and Maury Curetable. The company sells exclusively via distributors. In France, the network unites around 330 distributors. Abroad, Sermap has partnerships with almost 100.

“We enjoy an excellent reputation for our ability to innovate,” Ms. Briot explains the company’s success. “For example, in our early years, we invented a racloir which brought us international recognition. At the last SIMA, which was just held in February, we presented Mirobot, a robot which picks up the dung in the barn without endangering the animals. We keep developing new products which meet the needs of the farmers.”

The strategy is paying off. Sermap is well-established in France and sells to clients worldwide, for example in Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Russia or Vietnam. Ms. Briot is positive about the future. “Our new methanation method is a shot in the arm for our business,” she says.

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