Our company history 1912 1987

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Our company history


  1912   1987   2001   2008
1895   1964   1990   2007  

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We are dedicated to caring for and protecting your crops to produce a better quality of food. In today’s world, with its growing population and yet finite acrage available for farming, the crop sprayer is an essential tool to aid farmers achieve this goal.
BERTHOUD has been innovating for over 100 years to provide our customers with accurate, reliable, high-performance crop sprayers.

We use cutting-edge technology to create products in compliance with international standards for integrated farming methods which respect our environment and the quality of our crops.

As a member of the EXEL INDUSTRIES group, our turnover has been steadily rising since 1987 and today stands at over 55 million euros, of which over 40% is from export.

Today BERTHOUD employs 250 people plus the staff from its two distribution subsidiaries in the UK, Switzerland through Fischer company (FISCHER website) and Russia.




In 1887 Denis GOBET put the finishing touches to his first backpack piston crop sprayer, the ’excelsior GOBET’, for spraying mildew in the Beaujolais. He set up his workshop at Belleville sur Saône.





Paul BERTHOUD took over by industrialising manufacture of this crop sprayer in 1895 to satisfy demand. BERTHOUD Agricole was born.









Over the next few years, the catalogue expanded to include new models such as the Toboggan, the 1st large-scale horse-drawn sprayer, capable of spraying 2 rows of vines at once.





This was a year marked by the closure of the Etablissements VERMOREL company which left BERTHOUD in a leading position in the crop spraying sector.
In 1965 came the launch of the GAMA piston pump and from 1967 onwards, production soared. Over the next 5 years the number of large-scale crop sprayers manufactured rose from 5,000 to 10,600 units and backpack and hand-held dusters from 25,000 to 122,000 units.






The company became part of the EXEL INDUSTRIES group.

The EXEL Industries group was created in 1987 in the heart of the champagne region and produces high-accuracy crop sprayers for three markets, agriculture, industry and the general public.

The group has become the world leader in high-accuracy crop spraying techniques for plant protection and now stands in 3rd position worldwide for equipment protection.

EXEL Industries now employ over 2,700 people with approximately 40% abroad. It has 21 production sites, of which 13 are in France, and is present in 20 countries. The Group devotes 4% of its turnover and 6% of its staff to research and development

EXEL Industries was floated on the Paris stock market (SBF 250) on 20th June 1997 to allow it to take advantage of the external growth opportunities which were available and to increase its international renown.




Always anxious to satisfy its customers, BERTHOUD continued its product launch and improvement strategy. A few outstanding examples were:
1990: Launch of the MACK mounted crop sprayers, the 1st crop sprayer up to European standards, thanks to the rinsing tank, the manometer, the diamond-shaped base of the tank, and the induction hopper, etc.
1992: Launch of the RACER trailed crop sprayers, the first model incorporating a parallelogram lifting frame with nitrogen ball suspension.

1994: Launch of the BERTRONIC, the comprehensive electronic unit controlling all the spraying parameters for the field.
Several versions possible:

- the DP CONTROL: DPM regulation assisted by a second-generation monitor- the DP TRONIC: flow rate in proportion to the speed of advancement
the GESTRONIC: flow rate proportional to the speed of advancement with traceability of spraying operations by date, product and field.
1998: Launch of the SPEEDAIR: the first pneumatic trailed sprayers with rear-mounted fan
For trailed crop sprayers: Filing of a patent for the ACTIFLEX: suspension designed to adapt to the load on the axle. Launch of the AXIALE boom with its triangular strut structure for increased stability.

1999: Launch of the MAJOR range of trailed crop sprayers, the 1st sprayers equipped with ACTIFLEX suspension and the AXIALE boom.

2000: Launch of the SPEEDAIR and SUPAIR pneumatic cells for vines




A new industrial site for BERTHOUD.
The production facilities and the head office were brought together on this brand new site. The production department took this opportunity to review its organisation and created manufacturing units which facilitate just-in-time production of a particularly wide range of equipment.

BERTHOUD continued to launch new products:

2003: Development of a spray unit for New Holland grape harvesters: the unit can be fitted and removed in under 10 minutes, maximising versatility.

2004: Launch of the ELYTE, with its particularly innovative rounded shape.This mounted crop sprayer marked the beginning of a new era, where design is applied to technology, combining rounded shape and reduction of residual volumes.

2005: Launch of the Fructair, a new generation of trailed orchard sprayers, fitted with rear-intake fans to spray all types of orchard.


Following on from the ELYTE, the launch of the Tenor trailed model confirmed the success of this new generation of sprayers, heavily influenced by the importance BERTHOUD places on environmental protection and operator safety: reduction of residual volumes, simplified, safer operator controls, etc.
Another trend was the increasing demand of farmers for large capacity models. Berthoud rose to the challenge and produced a 3000l Fructair model.


Contents date 08