The family has been in the agricultural machinery business for more than 100 years.
« Circa 1830 in Fleurance, Jean Laffont founds a workshop and distinguishes himself through his remarkable ornamental ironwork, most notably in Saint-Laurent church. He also buildt the first threshing machines of the region, helped by his sons including Jean-Baptiste Laffont who took over from him in 1890. He was a pioneer of agricultural machinery in the Gers. He developed and manufactured threshing machines and straw loaders. Several of his inventions were used by well known competitors. With the help of his wife and then his eldest son, Benjamin Laffont, his family acquired a good reputation within the agricultural community.
Souvenir of Fleurance (Gers) - The label : B. Laffont Jme et Fils - Agricultural Machines (circa 1913)
From 1912, Benjamin continued the family tradition and also specialized in manufacturing discontinued wine presses. In a 1000m² hall, he organized a permanent exhibition of agricultural machines and Peugeot cars as the region’s authorized dealer.
His brother Paul-Alexandre Laffont (born in Fleurance, 15 July 1884), goes down in history as one of the first aviation tragedies. A well known chief-pilot of the Antoinette family, he and his passenger Pola were killed on the 28th of September 1910 at Toussus-le-Noble - at the beginning of the Paris-Brussels air race. His crash was filmed by M. Gaumont, which constitutes the first photographic document of an aviation disaster.»
(Le Gers, biographical dictionary from antiquity to the present day - supervised by Georges Courtés - Gers Archeological and historical company)
Alexandre (Alex) Laffont, Benjamin Laffont’s son, created la Récuperation Agricole (agricultural recovery) Gasconne (RAG) in Fleurance in July 1958.
The company was successful and four more sites followed: Barbezieux in Charente (Récupération Agricole Charentaise - RAC) in 1964; a subsidiary in Saint-Lattier in Isere (Comptoir General de Matériel ou Récupération Agricole du Dauphinois - RAD) in 1968; Villefranche d’Allier in l’Allier (Récupération Agricole Bourbonnais - RAB) in 1970; and Baraqueville in the Aveyron (Récupération Agricole du Rouergue - RAR) in 1975.
In 1988 the RAG, RAC, RAB and RAR merge to become a single company, Alex Laffont SARL (Ltd) and then Alex Laffont SA in 2001.
Today, the company is headed by Alex Laffont’s daughter and managed by his son-in-law; continuing more than 100 years of family tradition in agricultural machinery.