The COVID situation has strongly modified the organization of the Raid Evolénard. The start of the popular race was moved, no infrastructure was put in place after the race, and the public was severely limited for the European championships. The Raid Evolénard had to adapt to the situation and work hard to set up a COVID plan accepted by the authorities. Les Bons Sirops Morand supported this work by becoming a COVID-19 partner, since the traditional Kids Coaching Days that they used to sponsor could no longer take place. Their hydroalcoholic solutions will be present in the start and finish areas, to ensure the safety of the runners, their companions and the volunteers. The Raid Evolénard takes advantage of the publication of the COVID plan to meet Fabrice Haenni, director of the Morand distillery:
Hello Fabrice, you have been the director of Morand for almost 6 years. Could you introduce us to your company and what are the main changes you have made since your arrival?
Established in Martigny since 1889, the Louis Morand Distillery has distinguished itself from the beginning by its strong regional roots. An attachment to the land, a family know-how and the continuous search for quality are some of the ingredients that have allowed this family business to survive through the ages. The Distillery develops liqueurs, syrups, marcs and eaux-de-vie, including the very famous Williams pear eau-de-vie, the Williamine as well as a delicious Abricotine AOP. More than just products, the Morand Distillery is the story of a family and five generations of men and women who work to preserve and transmit the family know-how. The last few years have been under the sign of diversification. In 2015, Morand took over my parents’ business, Herbes Aromatiques Grand-St. Bernard. A very strong emphasis has also been placed on expanding the Bons Sirops range, which now has about 50 references. For spirits, innovation is at the heart of our concerns: event service based on brandy cocktails, Williamine and Apricot mousses, Valaisan Gin, etc. Independence, loyalty, pragmatism, trust and the will to preserve and develop the family heritage are all elements that allow the Distillerie Morand to innovate while respecting tradition.
For a few years now, we have noticed that you are very present in endurance races with the Ultrack but also in the cycling sector where you support the Tour des Stations, the Grand Raid and the Raid Evolénard. Could you explain us this strategy?
Most of these sporting events offer a children’s version. It is therefore natural for us, with our familiar and family syrups, to be present at these events. For adults and elites, we also notice that more and more athletes consume syrups during the effort. Some add a little pinch of salt to their mix. Generally speaking, as a player in the Valais economy, it is very important for us to support quality events that highlight the qualities of our canton.
Are you a fan of endurance sports and will we have the pleasure of seeing you at the start of the Raid Evolénard on June 19?
I love mountain biking but I rather practice it with my family with our 7 and 9 year old children or use it as a means of transportation. There is nothing like a ride from the plain to my home in Savièse after a hard day’s work to free your mind!
Since the beginning of the pandemic you have distinguished yourself by adapting your production line to make hydroalcoholic solutions. How did it go and in retrospect was it a winning choice for your company?
Our organization acted with urgency and with great agility. Given the shortage of hydroalcoholic solution at the beginning of the year 2020, the distilleries obtained the right to produce and distribute this type of product. A huge teamwork has allowed to create and market, in a record time, a quality product. After the hydroalcoholic solution with Williams pear created in a hurry, the Morand Distillery also markets a second hand disinfectant. Scented with organic Valais thyme, this solution offers an excellent quality-price ratio. Both recipes follow the WHO prescriptions and have been approved by the OFSP.
On the side of the Raid Evolénard we could also find this reactivity since you went from sponsor of the kids coaching day to sponsor COVID-19. Is seeing each change in situation as an opportunity a sign of the Morand Distillery?
Yes, clearly. We are constantly researching and challenging ourselves. This ability to innovate is essential in the life of a company. It is even more so when we are going through a period of crisis.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bons Sirops Morand for their support of the children and for their help in making our event possible in the context of CoVid-19 by having a pleasant smell after disinfection!