The company’s head office is located in Eysines, in the Gironde region of Western France. In 2001, RICARIMPEX became a Simplified Joint-Stock Company (SAS) with a capital of €400.000, mainly through the revaluation of the business (net assets of €300.000 at 30/06/2001) and cash contribution from private individuals of €50.000.
The head office site houses the offices, storage units, order management activities and the laboratory. Feeding and indoor reproduction activities take place at the same site.
The company owns one natural breeding site.
The company’s historic pools are based in Audenge, in the Gironde region. They occupy an area of around 6,000 m2 and consist of around fifteen pools of varying dimensions and depths, the biggest of them being 12 m long and between 6 and 8 m wide. The depths vary between a few centimetres and around 1 metre. The pools are supplied using wellbore water. The production area is closed to the public.
A second unit was created more recently, in June 2003, at the Centre Jean ROSTAND. Water for the pools is supplied from a 25 m wellbore.
Unlike the Audenge site, the Centre Jean ROSTAND is open to the public from Easter to the end of October. The leeches at the Centre Jean ROSTAND are not sold for use as medical devices.
The production areas are enclosed and under surveillance.
The RICARIMPEX team is made up of 3 employees:
– Brigitte LATRILLE, President
– Sonia PEDUCASSE-BARBE, Doctor of Biology and Quality Manager
– Adrien BAJEUX, Hirudiniculturist
All employees are responsible for both administrative tasks and leech breeding and sales activities.
Luc BERNARD, one of the company’s shareholders, is responsible for financial management.
The majority of RICARIMPEX’s customers are hospitals and clinics but over the last few years the company has expanded its customer base, supplying leeches to GPs, physiotherapists, naturopaths and private individuals. Outside the medical sector, the company also sends its products to research laboratories and universities.
Most of its customers are in France but the company also exports leeches to other countries in Europe, the United States, Korea and Brazil.