A new ITA-member: The Abbey of Port du Salut
Port du Salut's request to become a member of the ITA was approved during the last General Meeting of the ITA in Westmalle.
A little information about Our Lady of Port du Salut Abbey: It was the first abbey in France to have monastic life re-established after the Revolution. The first Cistercians returned to France at Port Rhingeard, on the bank of the Mayenne River, near Laval, in 1815. These monks came from Darfeld in Germany, where they had stayed for about thirty years. When Dom Bernard de Girmont arrived at Port Rhingeard, after having wandered around for many years, he cried out, “We have come to the Haven (Port); we have found Salvation (Salut).”
Here is where the renown cheese “PORT SALUT” originated, which forms the basis of many cheeses produced in Cistercian monasteries. But the glorious days of this “Port Salut” cheese are long past. The monastery's artisanal cheese production facility, which processed milk from the monastery's dairy farm, has been closed. For about ten years it was replaced by outsourcing, but this could only partially guarantee the community's income.
In 1932, an electrical power plant was built from an old 19th century grain mill. Since 1999, it has been completely renovated so that the entirely automatic installation now satisfies present-day norms. By joining the ITA, the community of Port du Salut hopes to acquire advice and inspiration for the economic administration of the monastery.