PDO a hallmark of quality

Behind the Lescure and Surgères names lies a hidden treasure, protected since 1979
by Charentes-Poitou PDO status, official recognition of top-notch quality.
Discover all the character of a terroir, longstanding expertise,
unique flavour and texture, in two authentic brands.

Protected Designation of Origin is an official guarantee of quality. It is synonymous with authenticity and unique expertise, preservation of a terroir and adherence to a recipe inspired by tradition.

It distinguishes a product for which all the production steps are carried out using recognized expertise, and within the same geographical area which gives it its characteristics.

At the heart of PDO status: the notion of origin, in other words, terroir.
Above all, certification celebrates the character and history of a geographical area.
It differentiates a product from others within the same category due to its ties to the place in which it was born and the fact that it is manufactured locally, using ancestral methods. It protects its characteristics in the whole of the European Union and prevents it from being counterfeited. It also rewards the commitment to quality of those who produce it.
Its meaning can be summed up in a few words: respect for a terroir, mankind, tradition.

To be awarded PDO status, a product must be produced:
- in a specific terroir (production site, manufacturing and packaging).
- using longstanding local expertise.

PDO is regulated by the European Community which specifies the geographical area of production, processing and making the product in question. Production conditions and adherence to quality criteria are evaluated by the INAO (National Institute of Origin and Quality) part of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Formerly known as AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), a French label guaranteeing the quality of French produce, the appellation has, since 1992, progressively been replaced by European PDO certification.

Just like butters, wines, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and olive oil can benefit from PDO status. In France, around fifty dairy products have been awarded the label.

Distinctive features of a terroir with character

The Charentes-Poitou PDO history is closely linked to that of Lescure and Surgères butters.
This terroir, which gathers of five departments (Charente, Charente Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée and Vienne), was originally dedicated to vines… However, in 1880, they were devastated by phylloxera, a destructive pest, and gradually replaced by dairy herds.

The ideal location of the region, near the ocean, and the natural resources of its land, made it ideal for rearing dairy herds. With its sunny ocean climate, mild winters, hot summers and regular rainfall, it provides herds with ideal rearing conditions. The second highest grain producing region in France, it provides the dry fodder and grains which enable unique milk, whose quality never wavers, to be produced... And to make butter with exceptional flavour.
The land of wine became the land of milk and has, ever since, imparted all of its character to this product.

Eager to make the best use of the quality of his land, Baron Lescure built a dairy in Claix in 1884. His pride in the butter produced there was such that he gave his name to it and it has remained unchanged ever since.
Several years later, in 1893, Lescure and Surgères joined forces with other local dairy cooperatives to create the first Central Association of Charentes and Poitou Cooperative Dairies, as well as a butter-producing dairy to transform the milk collected.
The Poitou-Charentes region thus confirmed its diary expertise. It was the first to be awarded AOC status for its butter in 1979, which became PDO in 2009.

In Charentes-Poitou PDO tradition, two other butter appellations have been created: Isigny PDO butter and Bresse PDO butter.
Charentes-Poitou PDO butter sets itself apart thanks to its terroir; its cows' fodder; its production constraints, notably the maturing period of the cream; and, of course, its unique organoleptic qualities.

Strict specifications

To carry the round label, strict conditions must be applied throughout the production process. From gate to plate, from fodder to finished product, Charentes-Poitou PDO butter adheres to strict and very precise specifications, celebrating a unique terroir, history and expertise.

• Primarily Prim’Holstein breed cows, fed on fodder from the region, mostly composed of maize, except during grazing period. This diet, ensures top quality milk with high levels of fat.

• Milk coming exclusively from defined departments within the Charentes-Poitou basin: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux Sèvres, Vienne, Vendée, and bordering communes of neighbouring departments. It must be collected within 72 hours of milking. It is then stored at between 0°C and 4°C before being skimmed. The production workshops must also be located in one of these departments.

• Produced using pasteurized and cultured cream. Lactic ferments give Charentes-Poitou butter its smooth and creamy texture, its thick cream fragrance, its incomparable flavour, and specific aromas. It is free of additives, artificial colourings, antioxidants, thickeners and de-acidifying substances.

• At least 16 hours of biological maturing, to enable it to develop its flavours and give the butter its creaminess.

• The matured cream is then churned, using specific techniques which are particular to each butter-producing dairy, until a homogenous texture is achieved… And the cream becomes butter.

Just a touch of salt is added to the butter to make salted butter. It is, and will remain, 100 % natural.
It contains a minimum of 82 % fat for unsalted butter and 80 % for salted butter.
Regular organoleptic tests (appearance, flavour, texture, odour...) ensure that the strict specifications for Charentes-Poitou PDO butter are adhered to.
All these regulations are put into place and regularly monitored by an independent organism approved by the INAO: National Institute of Origin and Quality.

Lescure & Surgeres : the secret of a unique butter

Surgères, butter with character. Lescure, the professionals' signature butter.
The oldest Charentes-Poitou PDO brands, every day they represent more than a century of exceptional savoir-faire, passion and expertise. Constant attention to detail, from the quality of the fodder to the texture of the butter on the palate. Perfect technical precision, from milking to packaging.

Every day, Butter Masters ensure the quality of the butter never wavers.
Colour, odour, flavour, texture: it is meticulously examined and tested in all conditions, to ensure total customer satisfaction.

Lescure and Surgères also embody a company with a human touch, committed to its region thanks to its butter-producing dairy in Surgères, its 100 employees and 3000 dairy producers.
A precious heritage, imparting the flavour into these butters. And which is passed on unchanged, from year to year…