Launch of the CERES project

CERES is one of the 14 winners of the “Territorial demonstrators of agricultural and food transitions” call for expressions of interest, managed by the Banque des Territoires on behalf of the French government in the context of the France 2030 plan. Its ambition is to develop a territorial agricultural and food model designed to massively expand eco-farming practices in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in Southwest France. Led by Euralis and involving a public-private joint venture, this project is now reaching the maturation phase.


On Wednesday 5 June, the Conseil Départemental des Pyrénées-Atlantiques welcomed all partners to the Parlement de Navarre in Pau for the project’s official launch day. This was an opportunity for the partners to share local issues with the Banque des Territoires on one of the farms selected as the project’s pilot farm, and then to start out working in a workshop on the timing of the project’s actions. The day was rich in discussion and perspectives.


What is the “Territorial Demonstrators of Agricultural and Food Transitions” programme?

The programme is part of the France 2030 plan, which, by promising more than €1.8 billion to the agricultural and food transition, should make it possible to invest in the solutions of the future and speed up the deployment of the 3rd agricultural revolution. With a budget of €140 million, this programme supports local projects, and those involved therein, in transforming agricultural and food production systems to meet the challenges of the ecological and energy transition. Innovations of all kinds will be mobilised for this goal. Multi-partner governance (including at least one local authority) should enable new technologies and new use cases to be tested under real conditions, using a systemic approach and in conjunction with people working in research and training, so that they can be reproduced throughout the region.


The CERES project is one of the 14 new prize-winners entering the maturation phase in mid-2024


In all, around 60 applications (60 eligible out of the 68 received) were examined by government departments and by a selection committee of independent experts. 14 winning projects were chosen to enter the maturation phase, including CERES, the project led by the Euralis cooperative, among others.


The CERES project: unique cooperation


CERES is a public-institutional-private joint venture. It has been accredited by the competitiveness division of Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation. Led by Euralis, it involves the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, the Pau-Béarn-Pyrénées urban community, Wiuz, INRAE, Terres Inovia, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, Toulouse INP ENSAT, and several member farms identified by the Euralis cooperative. Its goal is to develop an agricultural and food model using new eco-farming solutions and practices, ensuring that they are deployed on a large scale in key geographical areas of the Pyrénées-Atlantique department in Southwest France.


Key challenges for the winning project


CERES aims to meet three types of challenges: environmental (preserving water resources, reducing our impact on the climate, preserving biodiversity), economic (economic model, organisational model viable at all levels in the sector, appropriate and targeted public policies) and social (job creation, training, dissemination throughout the region).

And the project accounts for two issues: where can we find a social, economic and ecological balance across an area with several different cropping systems, types of farming businesses and sectors? And how can we start rolling out new agro-ecological practices on 400 farms, involving all the stakeholders in the area?


Pilot farms at the heart of the project

As part of this unique public-private venture, Euralis has undertaken to set up a network of 5 pilot farms and to develop “enhanced agro-ecological consulting” that can be deployed on 400 farms, all located in Pyrénées-Atlantique department. One pilot farm is planned for each sub-region to address various issues: increasing organic matter levels, optimising irrigation water consumption, controlling soil erosion, reducing the use of chemical fertilisers, increasing habitats (biodiversity) and reducing the TFI.


A combination of different solutions

Firstly, new cropping systems will be implemented (reduced tillage, crop rotation management, inclusion of pulses in the rotation, soil cover). This is followed by farming supplies (choice of seeds, use of biocontrol products and organic solutions) and alternative techniques (alternative weeding, use of organic fertilisers, reasoning behind the crop cycle). Finally, precision farming will be used (decision-making tools, connected sensors, farming equipment for modulation possibilities within plots).


Indicators monitored throughout the project

The volume of dry matter produced per hectare by the plant cover, the proportion of organic matter, the quantity of mineral nitrogen added per hectare, the quantity of water consumed per tonne of yield, the Treatment Frequency Index, the proportion of eco-farming infrastructure, the number of crops grown on the farm: these are just some of the indicators that will be used to monitor the CERES project over the coming months and years, and to measure its impact.




The CERES project in figures

8 partners

5 pilot farms

400 farms to be eventually rolled out

Involvement of 1 entire area, the Pyrénées-Atlantique department

Project duration: maturation phase + implementation = 18 months + 5 years



“We are very proud to be one of the 14 winners of the ‘Territorial Demonstrators of Agricultural and Food Transitions’ programme. The CERES project, which we are carrying out with public and private partners, encourages eco-farming practices at the local level: in this respect, it is consistent with the Euralis cooperative’s desire to support the agricultural transition, help farmers with this change, and contribute to the resilience of farms and the vitality of our cooperative regions. We’re also proud to be mobilising 5 pilot farms from among our members”, says Laurent Dubain, Managing Director of Euralis’s Agricultural Division.



What is France 2030?


  • The aim is twofold: to bring about lasting change in key sectors of our economy (health, energy, automotive, aeronautics and space) through technological innovation, and to position France not just as a player, but as a leader in tomorrow’s world. From fundamental research to the emergence of an idea, up to the production of a new product or service, France 2030 supports the entire life cycle of innovation, right through to its industrialisation.
  • At an unprecedented scale: €54 billion will be invested to ensure that our businesses, universities and research bodies make the transition to these strategic sectors a success. The challenge is to enable them to respond competitively to the ecological and attractiveness challenges in tomorrow’s world, and to create future leaders in these top-level sectors. France 2030 is defined by two cross-cutting objectives: to devote 50% of its spending to reducing carbon emissions in our economy, and 50% to promoting emerging players who are driving innovation, without spending money on schemes that are detrimental to the environment.
  • Implemented collectively: it is designed and deployed in conjunction with economic, academic, local and European players to determine strategic orientations and key actions. Project promoters are invited to submit their applications via transparent, demanding and selective procedures so they may benefit from government support.
  • It is steered by the Secretary-General for Investment on behalf of the French Prime Minister and implemented by the Agency for the Ecological Transition (ADEME), the French National Research Agency (ANR), Bpifrance and the Banque des Territoires.


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About the Banque des Territoires


The Banque des Territoires is one of the five divisions of Caisse des Dépôts, the French savings bank. It draws upon in-house expertise to support the various regions. As a single point of contact for its customers, it works alongside all local players: local authorities, local public companies, social housing organisations, legal professions, businesses and those involved in the financial sector. It supports them in carrying out their public-interest projects by offering a spectrum of solutions: consulting, loans, equity investments, deposits and banking services. By reaching out to all regions, from rural areas to metropolitan areas, the Banque des Territoires aims to maximise its impact, particularly in terms of ecological transformation and social and regional cohesion. The Banque des Territoires’ 37 local branches ensure that its activities are deployed throughout mainland France and the French overseas territories. Working together to develop greener, more inclusive regions


About the Euralis Group:

The Euralis cooperative group is a key player in the agricultural and agrifood industries. Euralis is driven by three missions: food, society and energy production. It is involved in the research, production and sale of certified seeds (sweetcorn, sunflower, rapeseed, sorghum and soya) via the Lidea and Caussade Semences Pro brands. Driven by a never-ending quest for innovation, Euralis supports 9,000 member farmers in Southwest France via consulting services, grain collection, and plant and livestock product marketing. Through its consulting services, it helps them to move towards sustainable farming practices. The cooperative operates integrated sectors: vegetable production (in partnership with the Green Giant and Bonduelle brands), Label Rouge poultry, ducks & geese and beef cattle. In 2021, it created Eurasolis, its photovoltaic energy production chain designed for farmers. Euralis also processes and sells its duck and foie gras products via the Maison Montfort and Rougié brands. It supports local shops with its Stalaven delicatessen activities and Teyssier dry-cured meats. The cooperative group is also present in the retail sector with the Point Vert shops and develops marketing for locally sourced food products via the ”Table des Producteurs” brand. In 2023, the Euralis cooperative group generated 1.58 billion euros in turnover. It boasts 5,625 member farmers and around 5,300 employees in 16 countries.



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