In 2021, Euralis joined the Ici On Sème group’s PUR Projet initiative, which brings together companies, farmers and cooperatives to implement agroforestry projects in Southwest France. As part of this initiative, Euralis raises awareness among member farmers and puts them in contact with the PUR Projet’s team of agronomists. Two member poultry breeders took part in the pilot project and benefited from technical and financial support. The long-term goal is to significantly develop this project, which falls within the agricultural transition promoted by Euralis.
“By becoming a partner of the PUR Projet, we have joined a team that is committed to preserving biodiversity and fighting against climate change”, Laurent Capdevielle, Head of Planning and Development at Euralis Volailles’ Agricultural Division, explains. The cooperative thus promotes sustainable agriculture and forest management initiatives, from their initial design to their implementation. “This commitment illustrates our desire to transform our agricultural sectors and regions to protect and regenerate our ecosystems in the long term. This places us at the forefront of the agricultural transition.” By putting members in contact with the PUR Projet, Euralis is taking part in a collective effort. To overcome the challenge of adapting their practices, farmers require technical and financial support.
An agroforestry project from A to Z
Implementing an agroforestry project requires technical skills and robust project management, which is where the PUR Projet comes in, Emil Simondon, France Regional Manager, explains: “Once we have been put in contact with a farmer, one of our agronomists will visit their farm to offer tailored consulting. After visiting the plots, we will undertake an agroforestry diagnosis and discuss with the project manager to understand their objectives. We will then propose technical adjustments in accordance with this diagonsis: choosing the most appropriate tree species, planting density and location; agrosupply products necessary to protect plants and fine-tuning the final development plan which meets the needs of the project and project manager.” Ici On Sème coordinates the purchasing of raw materials (trees, mulches, [SM1] wildlife, stakes, etc.) with suppliers with an emphasis on high-quality, local products. Once the products have been delivered to the farm, the farmer can either do the planting themselves or use a service provider.
Testimonial from a farmer: a pilot agroforestry project to protect soil and improve animal welfare
Sandrine Lafenêtre, a poultry breeder in Classun (Southwest France) manages one of the two pilot projects launched by Euralis: “Thanks to the consulting provided by the cooperative and the PUR Projet, I was able to turn my agroforestry project into a reality. For many years, I wanted to replant trees in my poultry pastures to help protect the soils and improve animal welfare. The fact that I can receive financial and technical support has enabled me to take the next step.” She was mentored by a specialist from the PUR Projet team to help choose planting models, the number of plants, the areas to target and which species to use. In total, 5 species were chosen and just over 800 trees were planted.
After the test phase in late 2021, Euralis plans to roll out a wider range of projects for its members. “To do so, we plan to carry out an initial progress report”, Laurent Capdevielle adds. “We are optimistic for the future. This type of initiative falls within the Group’s strategy and we aim to develop it further. We are also noticing growing demand among farmers.” This demand is confirmed by the PUR Projet: “We are working with private backers who we direct towards project managers. Our partnership with Euralis helps us to identify project managers. Working alongside the cooperative’s sectors allows us to scale up our activities to meet the needs of the sector”. We invite all regional stakeholders (companies and local authorities) who are looking to improve the environmental impact of our sectors to contact us and take part in the initiative!
About PUR Projet: PUR Projet is an eco-friendly engineering company that develops environmental projects (agricultural, forestry and marine) in France and around the world.
About Ici On Sème: Ici On Sème is a group of businesses, farmers, and forest workers who are committed to the ecological transition of agricultural networks in France.