" History of La Vie Claire
At the origin of La Vie Claire stands an earth-friendly and natural products-loving humanist, a visionary: Henri-Charles GEFFROY. Gassed during World War One and considered by his doctors to be condemned, Henri-Charles GEFFROY extended his life simply by adopting a new way of eating: an exclusively vegetarian diet based on grains, fruit and vegetables, preferably consumed raw. A true pioneer, Henri-Charles GEFFROY inspired a genuine health ecology. Opposed to industrial food, mindful of the quality of food products, convinced of the usefulness of agriculture in line with the laws of natural fertility, he turned his approach into a total commitment to the body and mind.
With courage and foresight, he relentlessly continued to share his healthy diet method with as many people as possible. For this purpose, in August 1946 he created the publication La Vie Claire to express himself freely on this subject. Henri-Charles GEFFROY intended to turn this publication into a link between those who did not think like everyone else and who aspired to: "Think Clearly, See Clearly, Act Clearly and want to Live Clearly." The publications were a big hit. The numerous readers started asking Henri-Charles GEFFROY to provide them with food products meeting the standards he recommended.
Thus in March 1948 was created the first cooperative association of La Vie Claire with the first products of the brand La Vie Claire. The stages of establishing a network and supplies of La Vie Claire followed very quickly. La Vie Claire has steadily advanced on the biological terrain, gradually offering a range of diversified products that meet the requirements and needs of all consumers.
As a key player engaged in the distribution of organic products in France since 1948, La Vie Claire owns a network of organic stores and franchises across the national territory. 67 years after our creation, we still feel as close to the spirit of its founder. The sincerity and expertise have remained intact.
Every day we research, design, develop, distribute and recommend organic, healthy and natural products that meet all the needs of daily life.
Day after day, our vocation is to pass on this love and respect for natural and organic products, through our network of sales outlets and our own brand La Vie Claire.
More than ever, we are committed to uphold the values of organic farming, and our satisfaction lies in sharing our art of living with as many people as possible: eating healthy food and living better by adopting an environmentally responsible behaviour.
The quality and the relationship with the partners-suppliers are essential. We are very eager to work with the best contributors, recognized for their expertise and their know-how, in order to maintain strong and sustainable partnerships and to establish relationships based on balance and respect. Our will is to provide our suppliers with a strong and long-term support, in order to help them to engage in organic activities, to sustain production volumes or to develop new activities. We are very eager to support the suppliers who are within the closest geographical location... as well as some organic producers located in emerging countries.
The quality policy
La Vie Claire was born from the vision of an earth-friendly and natural products-loving humanist, Henri-Charles GEFFROY. For 65 years, the organization has been built by passionate women and men who are convinced by organic farming. All are willing to share another way of eating and using organic products that are healthy and natural with as many people as possible. More than ever, we are committed to defend the values of organic farming.
The customer is at the heart of all our actions. Satisfying our customer is our priority. This is illustrated at La Vie Claire by:
• Listening to our customers and undertaking to provide them with the best service;
• Developing services and products, taking into account the customers' (current and future) needs.
Quality is a state of mind and an ongoing requirement. It has to be consistent and assessed using a framework that is shared by all. At La Vie Claire, quality can be found:
• In our products;
• In our distribution system, platform and shops;
• In our role as franchiser;
• In our daily work;
• In our relationships with others, whether they are internal or external to the company.
Quality commitments at La Vie Claire
The label "Products from Organic Farming"("Produits issus de l'Agriculture Biologique") guarantees the non-use of synthetic chemicals and the non-use of GMOs. However, contamination may originate, notably from the surrounding environment (water, air or soil).
To master our products
In order to monitor the compliance of products with our brand, our quality team has developed a valuable tool for monitoring our products to protect us from the risk of any accidental presence of residues of pesticides and GMOs. This is the most effective means we have to ensure you that throughout the processes of cultivation, harvesting, storage, processing or transportation, our products offer you all the quality guarantees you are entitled to expect.
In concrete terms?
Strict maximum rates:
<0.1% for GMOs (rice, soyabeans, maize), in case of accidental contamination, while the regulation in force is 0.9%;
<0.02 mg/kg for pesticides, in cases of environmental contamination, while the regulation imposes no result;
<0.07 mg/kg for PBO* while the regulation authorizes it (*The piperonyl butoxide is a molecule used to "potentiate" the effectiveness of natural pesticides, such as pyrethrum);
More than 1700 analyses were performed on La Vie Claire brand products, with the focus of vigilance being put on pesticide analyses, which implies, for certain products, more than 250 molecules being examined.
The oils : La Vie Claire ensures the absence of pesticides and controls the peroxide value of oils in order to anticipate an early rancidity to guarantee a top quality oil, until the end of its life. In practice, our La Vie Claire colza oil is closely studied by our partner analysis laboratory (itself also accredited Cofrac, Cofrac being the French association in charge of the accreditation of laboratories, inspection and certification bodies). Result: no pesticide detection, or GMOs, a peroxide index (measuring the oxidation, i.e. the freshness of the oil) which guarantees the quality of our oil, as well as the vitamin E concentration meeting our requirements.
Dried fruit: Whether they come from here or elsewhere, these fragile and sensitive products require special attention; this is the reason why our quality process starts very early in the chain with the selection of suppliers committed to a risk management approach and quality control. Then, our monitoring is also complete: among our priorities is obviously the guarantee of the absence of pesticides, but also the prevention of the risk of mycotoxin development. Nothing is left to chance. And connoisseurs of our dried fruit do know it! So to all the others, give it a try, safely!
Honeys: Each year, 15 reference products are tested to confirm the absence of pesticides, the freshness of the honey and the absence of heating and addition of exogenous sugars, such as corn or sugar cane, in order to prove the purity of the honeys. Honeys also undergo a pollen analysis enabling to name the flower and the geographical origin of the products. And for this special product, we work with CETAM (center for technical studies on beekeeping in Moselle, France), owing to its competence, unanimously recognized by all beekeepers and key players from the organic honey sector in France.
Basic grains: Wheat, quinoa, spelt, buckwheat ... all grains offered by La Vie Claire brand are analyzed to ensure the absence of pesticides and PBO, the piperonyl butoxide, a component of many insecticides that can be tolerated in certain conditions in organic farming but is prohibited by the specifications of La Vie Claire products.
Corn: The product that you all have in your cupboard gets scrutinized every year. In addition to the mandatory verification of the absence of pesticides and GMOs, we perform additional analyses to ensure the absence of contamination by mycotoxins (fungal toxins).
Soy steaks: In this product family, again we are extremely vigilant because we all know soy is considered as a "potentially dangerous" raw material. Our analyses are conducted according to very strict criteria, and we closely examine the composition of our soy steaks. The control parameters are verified and the results serve to illustrate the quality of the chain La Vie Claire.
The references for the gluten-free products
The rule: 0 tolerance for all the products from our brand. Thus, in addition to the usual monitoring on pesticide and GMOs, we check the total absence of gluten, a key indicator for celiac patients. And because a product dedicated to celiac patients must be irreproachable, we have chosen, together with our laboratory, to set a detection limit four times lower than the threshold imposed by the regulation for gluten-free products. To this already comprehensive analysis program, we add our established partnership with the AFDIAG (French Gluten Intolerance Association). The crossed-out ear of wheat logo mentioned on the packaging of gluten-free products by La Vie Claire demonstrates strict traceability and controls, thus a guaranteed security for you, the consumer.
Who is controlling the organic activity of our products?
To identify an organic product, whatever the place of purchase (specialty store, market, local producer...) and the packaging (crate, bulk or packaged product), it should mention "Product from Organic Farming" ("Issu de l'agriculture biologique") and the name or code of the certifying body.
The European logo has gradually appeared, being compulsory since July 2012 on all packaged products, for products containing at least 95% organic ingredients. It can be accompanied by the logo of the producer countries, such as the AB logo for France.
Under the European logo, the origin of the raw materials and the code of the last inspecting body will appear. The AB (Organic Farming) logo remains the property of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Importation: What are the guarantees?
Rest assured: the European Regulation also ensures the inspection of organic goods from abroad. Any product imported into its territory must have the approval of a certification body.
Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, New Zealand and Switzerland apply the same standards as ours. The other countries must prove that their products have been tested and meet the same requirements as those of the importing countries. "