As well as the private collection of Michel Besnier, some of the objects on show come from the the group’s industrial sites which, since the beginning of the project, have been donated in the context of an active policy to conserve evidence of the past, either in connection with the history of production methods or changing technologies. The centre has also been enriched by donations from various other sources in order to illustrate, as fully as possible, the major historical stages of dairy and cheese production.
The inventory of items on show in the centre is the result of a major documentation effort and has led to the selection of almost 2500 objects or machines used in milk collection and transportation, pasteurisation and sterilisation processes, packaging, manufacturing of yoghurts and rennet milks, and the transformation of milk into cream and butter. The various collections housed by the centre also include an exceptional range of centrifugal cream separators and churns obtained from diverse origins.
Furthermore the section devoted to cheese making also presents an impressive collection of traditional and modern cheese moulds and important objects such as the cheese presses used to make Cantal, Saint-Nectaire and Emmenthal, and even the very first Roquefort ‘cheese piercer’ invented in around 1873 by Etienne Coupiac, the Director of the ‘Société des Caves’.