In 1974‚ Luc Darbonne joined the company owned by his family which was specialised in the production of asparagus plants and the dehydration of aromatic and medicinal plants. In 1976‚ he decided to launch a new activity of frozen aromatic herbs and perfected a process (whose patent he subsequently registered) which made it possible to conserve the organoleptic qualities of aromatic herbs. His first client happened to be a neighbour who had just bought the Picard frozen food and opened his first shop where he started selling Darbonne’s products. Following Picard’s example‚ other food industry manufacturers in turn became Darbonne’s clients. Today, Darégal has a 70 % global market share, and 72 % of its sales take place outside France. As far as Luc Darbonne is concerned, it is essential to constantly innovate if one wants to remain market leader, and his company spends 3 % of its turnover on R&D. Luc Darbonne is the fourth generation of his family to run the business and he is anxious that the next generation ensures the longevity of the company. This would call for an appropriate family-run governance. He is the president of Family Business Network (France) which tries to promote family-owned businesses which have a regional base and an economic solidity built on the long term.
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