Specialized in the production of parquet, the wood company Berry in Meaulne-Vitray (Allier) wants to take on new challenges

Produce two million square meters of flooring within two to three years. This is the aim of the Berry wood company in Meaulne-Vitray. “We currently produce between 1.2 and 1.3 million,” explains Jean-Marc Legrand, site manager.

The pitch is therefore high. Especially since the Bourbonnais website must face a reality.

The company Berry Wood, based in Meaulne (Allier), has designed innovative parquet floors for the Norwegian market

Reach 2 million square meters

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“The Meaulne site is centered on wood. We have over 150 suppliers. But wood is a complicated resource because it is linked to forest demography. We don’t have as much room for maneuver as for agriculture, for example. We’ve had visibility for 150 years. Our supply, therefore, will not change immediately. A problem when, like now, tension is building.

“Demand, which mainly focuses on oak, has increased lately with a third of volumes going to China. »

Jean-Marc Legrand (website director)

And as if that were not enough: “France is the main supplier of oak in Europe. But the second is Ukraine… As we have stock, the effect of the shortage is not yet felt. But the next two years promise to be difficult. »

Berry wood, created in 1959, was purchased by the Belgian group Beaulieu international group, which has several production sites in Europe. The Meaulne-Vitray factory is the only one to produce wooden flooring and coverings.

Alternatives to classic parquet

Thus, Berry wood will necessarily have to “find complementary and alternative solutions” to classic parquet in order to increase its production.

“There will always be people who prefer parquet. »

“But with the environmental movement, we are led to think that there will be a clientele, perhaps younger, who will prefer wooden floors. So let’s develop the veneer. »

Jean Marc Legrand (website director)

And for that, Berry Wood will also have to “develop its factory”, and in particular its machining and packaging line. “The coming years will be a great challenge. »

The deputy mayor of Allier visits Meaulne-Vitray

The recruitment challenge

For Berry wood, recruitment is also a challenge. Because today, the company is struggling to find employees. “We have 102 employees, around forty salespeople and around twenty temporary workers”, observes Alexandre Lepron, director of human resources. “And since we have big development projects, we need to bring people into our workforce. »

But here it is… Berry Wood is struggling to recruit. “And that concerns all professional categories. »

“It is a specific problem of the basin. It is difficult to attract people, because often you have to bring the employee, but also the spouse, who has to find a job at the pool. »

alexander lepron (Human resources director)

The company therefore opted for an unusual medium: an itinerant truck presenting the products of its Berry Alloc brand. “We are in the second edition. The truck circulated in Europe and France. This allows us to introduce our products to our customers, but also to attract new talent. »With its traveling truck, the company hopes to attract new talent.

At Allier, the sector is recruiting more and more, but it should attract young people

Photos: Cécile Champagnat

Text: Laura Morel

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