The Euralis Coop General Assembly met today and proceeded to renew one third of its Board members. The latter met up afterwards to elect Christophe Congues as their new president, as well as a new Executive Council. Formerly the Euralis President Delegate, Christophe Congues will take over from Christian Pèes, who decided to stand down as Euralis President in February 2021, after stepping back several months ago due to health reasons.
On this occasion, Christophe Congues declared that: “alongside all Euralis Board members, I hope to continue the work undertaken by Christian Pèes and remain committed to the positive dynamic he injected into the company for over two decades. Christian transformed Euralis into a pioneering cooperative thanks to his bold strategic choices over the years, the latest noteworthy example being his decision, in February 2020, to move forward with consulting within the framework of the Egalim bill. I am committed to maintaining this innovative approach, while continuing to support our members and regions. In particular, I hope I can help shape the farming of the future, placing emphasis on sustainable, multifaceted agriculture that enables our members stand out from the competition, while meeting the needs of consumers and adapting to market demands. I know I can count on the Executive Council, all the Board members, and employees to contribute to Euralis’s performance and development. Together, we will continue to take part in an extraordinary human adventure. I will put all my energy into the mission entrusted to me.”
Christophe Congues drafted his ‘roadmap’ and defined areas to prioritise: innovation and the international development of the cooperative – yet always staying true to the group’s roots in Southwest France – while prioritising teamwork and the people behind the group’s activities at all times. As Christophe Congues highlights, “For our Food Activities, innovation lies in launching products which, among other things, meet consumer expectations as best as possible. For our Seed Activities, innovation nurtures our R&D policy in a bid to improve our gene flow performance. Finally, by choosing consulting, we adopted an innovative strategy to support farmers in their transition towards sustainable agriculture.”
Aged 48, Christophe Conges is a maize seed, kiwi and tobacco producer in Moumour (Southwest France). A Euralis member for the past eight years, he was elected President of the South Aquitaine regional commission and President Delegate of the Agricultural Division. He has a Higher National Diploma in farm system analysis and management (at an Agricultural College in Montardon, Southwest France), and also studied agricultural cooperative governance at the ESSEC Business School. He was the President of the Fédération des planteurs de tabac (Federation of Tobacco Planters) for thirteen years, and General Secretary of the France Tabac Union (French Tobacco Union) for eleven years before joining the Euralis Board of Directors in 2014, in charge of monitoring innovative projects at the Agricultural Division.
Christian Pèes: a remarkable commitment to support agriculture
Christophe Congues will take over from Christian Pèes, who is standing down after over two decades as Euralis President. The President and Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank him for his service to the Euralis Cooperative over the past thirty years, and, more generally, his dedication to agriculture and cooperatives both in France and Europe.
Following the death of his father, who was also a farmer, Christian Pèes took over the family estate in Athos-Aspis (Southwest France), after studying geography at university, and has thus been growing maize and soya for over thirty years.
A founding member of the MOMAGRI Think Tank (Movement in favour of a World Agriculture Organisation), he has spent many years campaigning for agricultural markets to be globally regulated, considering price volatility to be behind major political and socio-economic unrest. In his book L’arme alimentaire (The Food Weapon), published by Cherche Midi in 2006, Christian Pèes demonstrates how agriculture could become one of the biggest economic drivers at a time when we are asking ourselves two fundamental questions: how can we continue to feed the planet, which will be home to 9 billion people by 2050 and satisfy our energy needs?
A Knight of the Legion of Honour, Christian Pèes has furthered his experience and commitments through various complementary roles. Appointed to the Euralis Board of Directors on 17 December 1990, he was President of the Cooperative from 2000 to 2021. Formerly President of the Coop de France Métiers du Grain from 2013 to 2019, he was also a member of the Coop de France Executive Council, and President of the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union (COGECA), which brings together over 40,000 cooperatives, from September 2012 to December 2015.
Members of the new Executive Council
- Christophe Congues: President of the Euralis group
- Bernard Ader: Vice-President of the Euralis group / President of the Food Division
- Stéphane Boué:Vice-President of the Euralis group / President of the Agricultural Division
- Jean-Paul Lataste: Vice-President of the Euralis group in charge of cooperative activities / President of the Participation and Development Division
- Pierre Pages: Vice-President of the Euralis group / President of the Seed Division