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FICOFI: Storing the world’s finest wines and keeping them that way.

How innovative, independent verification is helping a whole new sector to grow

food & drink

Client challenge

ficofi_warehouse2The figures behind FICOFI are staggering. The firm stores and manages over 380,000 bottles of wine for its members in specialised warehouses globally. Started in 1990 in France, FICOFI now operates from six strategic offices (Bordeaux, Paris, Hong Kong, London, Sao Paulo and Singapore), offering wine advisory services and more than 200 tasting events, seminars and trips to wine chateaux and domains yearly.

Le Club FICOFI® is the company’s exclusive programme, buying and acquiring wines for members and looking after their personal cellars. Standards for storing such prized wines are understandably high. This is a level of trust the client never takes lightly. The attention to detail is as astonishing, in fact, as FICOFI’s growth. The company’s success rests on its goal to provide secure spaces where humidity and temperature are finely controlled. FICOFI turned to us to prove this goal was being met continually, while expanding its warehouses and programme. Independent verification was new in this area. Wine agents traditionally carry out their own inventories.



How we helped

ficofi_warehouseOur technical experts first assessed FICOFI’s requirements. Here, we were able to draw on a long history of delivering independent assurance, certification and auditing across commercial and industrial sectors. We pinpointed three important areas where we could provide valuable independent verification.

  1. Procedural consistency: Assessing how local warehouse personnel handled their wine inventory. We could then answer key questions, including how procedures could be standardised globally and always implemented correctly.

  2. Quantity verification: With hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine and counting, we independently verified that our client had a robust approach to verifying quantities owned by each member, including new acquisitions.

  3. Certification: Providing an inventory certificate per collection or member at each warehouse site. This unique certificate is a guarantee of the quantity of wine stored and the quality of that storage.

Our approach started with spot quantity verification in one warehouse to build up a thorough understanding of our client’s business. This was then rolled out across each FICOFI site. Our support continues as we carry out more than 25 days of physical inspection at wine warehouses annually.


Our reputation for quality is built on over 250 years of independent assessments of assets and systems. This was instrumental in FICOFI’s decision to use us, as it reflected our client’s own business standards and values.

Client feedback

“Our clientele has the highest of standards. We required an independent provider that shared those same high standards and values as we do at FICOFI: rigour, excellence, professionalism and a commitment to the customer.”

Philippe Capdouze

Founder and Chairman, FICOFI


“We are extremely satisfied that LRQA was able to provide the flexibility and expertise in order to deliver this unique service.”

Anthony Lanhouet

Operations Director, FICOFI

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