Linen. Full house at Bodilis to inform the producers

On January 12, Bretagne Lin invited producers to discover this new crop, which takes root in Brittany. ©Brittany linen

Wanting to “recover the letters of nobility” in this culture that used to be in Brittany, Dominique Le Nan founded Bretagne lin some time ago. Before any investment, he wanted to test the culture. And in 2022, countless little blue flowers appeared in five plots in northern Finistère, for a total of almost twenty hectares.

Better yield

“The yields are very good,” explained Dominique Le Nan. “If the average is 5 to 5.5 t of straw per hectare in the North, they have reached 8 t here. And the fiber quality is there, even though we have no cultivation experience”.

Certainly, the fact that the lands have not worn flax recently has no doubt helped. And it’s too early to tell if the atypical summer climate had anything to do with it. But Bretagne Lin is now convinced, “Brittany has adapted to the culture”. Supported by the Van Robaeys frères, founded in the North, the Landivisiau company will develop a gear, with 200 hectares this year. “We will conduct trials in the south of the department. Producers from Côtes-d’Armor are also interested”.

A gross margin of €3,000/ha

To inform them, Bretagne Lin organized a meeting on January 12 in Bodilis. “We had a full house,” said Dominique Le Nan. “One hundred people moved”. The opportunity to discover the technical route of flax, the machines needed for harvesting, the gross margin… “With the harvests obtained this year, and the average prices of the last 5 years, it will reach €3,000/ha, €5,000 if we base the prices on the year”. Much better than a cereal, which also explains the enthusiasm of producers.

A mechanized culture

“It is a completely mechanized crop,” explains Dominique Le Nan, who first convinced Sofimat, in Pencran, to become a Depoortere dealer, a specialist in harvesting and scutching machines for natural fibers. And Cuma and ETA now want to equip themselves with harvesters, turners and coilers. “To show its support for this new crop, the Region can subsidize the purchase of these very expensive machines, 1 million euros for 250 ha”.

10 to 15,000 hectares of flax

If 2023 goes well, first contacts report 700 to 1,000 ha of flax next year. “And we are planning a scutching plant to process the 2024 harvest”. In one line at the beginning, it will grow as the crop develops. “In 10-15 years, Brittany could plant 10 to 15,000 hectares,” suggested Dominique Le Nan. To add value to these surfaces, Bretagne Lin aims to pull out all the stops. “If with pork, everything is good, with flax, everything is good! Long fibers for fabrics, short fibers for US dollars, shives…”.

A specialist in short fibers, Van Robaeys frères will no doubt be called. “But the seeds can be valued locally, for human or animal consumption”. Bretagne lin also wants to replace plastic, by offering biodegradable nets, to package garlic, onions, shallots, peppers… “And even Christmas trees”.

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Not a utopia

“We will also be the supplier of the spinning mill that will be installed in Morlaix”, added Dominique Le Nan. And while a project like his is being held at Commana, he wants to see it as an opportunity, rather than a competition. “Producers can compare. And that there are two of us who want to relaunch the flax culture is quite encouraging: the idea is not utopian! “.

Practically, Are you interested in growing flax? You can reach Dominique Le Nan by email [email protected]

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