Our Heritage

Our Heritage

History of Président

The production of Camembert

On 19 October 1933, André Besnier, left his job as butter churn maker to become a cheese maker in Laval, Mayenne. He collected 34 litres of milk on the very first day, and used it to produce 17 Le Petit Lavallois Camembert cheeses.


In 1947, he began to expand his business and moved into a more modern facility in Laval. It was where he began to produce Camembert, white cheeses, petit suisses (white and fresh cheese) and butter. It was not before long when he was widely recognised as a specialist in producing high quality butter.


In 1950, his operations collects an average of 10,000 litres of milk per day, and has about thirty employees.


In 1955, he passed away suddenly and the business was succeeded by his 27 year-old son, Michel Besnier. Michel was a great cheese-maker and a talented businessman who was capable of communicating uniquely about his business. He officially launched the Président brand in 1968. Since then, Président’s products have always enjoyed an excellent reputation. His most famous cheese is, however the Camembert, amongst other award-winning products. It has since become a representative product under the Président brand.


Always innovative, Michel Besnier is the first to introduce the UHT packaging into France, and more significantly, it is the first to develop the technical production of Camembert with pasteurised milk.

Birth of Président

Distribution in the 50s

The Président brand was formally established in 1968. Let us tell you about the brand story of Président!


At the beginning of January, Michel Besnier was hosting his employees for New Year’s dinner. They brought some refreshments and alcohol. The conversation turned to the new pasteurised Camembert they has just developed. He grabbed the box of whiskey and addressed the audience: “This is what we need; a high-end brand with meaningful symbols: gold and black. Since the cheeses were produced for the markets of Normandy and Brittany, we have to use the colours and symbols of the three regions. With regards to the brand, France is the country of the presidents, everyone is a president! From the circle of fishing, playing bocce, to ex-combatants… Check if the Président brand has already been registered!”


The celebration continued and went to check if they could register “Président” as a trademark. Four days later, the Président label was legally established and launched.