Since choosing consulting in 2020, Euralis’s Agricultural Division has been implementing its transformation and rolling out its strategy to some 9,000 farmers, to meet their needs as closely as possible. It is offering them efficient, sustainable and responsible sectors. The aim: to support them in their agricultural transition and help them move towards sustainable agriculture that safeguards their revenues.
To accelerate the transition to sustainable practices while ensuring the long-term viability of farmers’ operations, Euralis’s Agricultural Division is focusing on the co-construction of sustainable sectors with its downstream clients. “When farmers decide to join one of these sectors, we submit a set of specifications that they undertake to respect. The production contract they sign with us guarantees a premium on the volumes produced”, explains Laurent Dubain, Managing Director of the Agricultural Division. “This added value is essential to cover the risks taken by producers. It contributes to the resilience of farms and safeguards farmers’ revenues. This is at the heart of the mission of an agricultural cooperative.”
From existing production contracts to new sectors
For years, production contracts have been offered to farmers in large numbers:
– Organic production: small grains, protein crops, pulses, oilseeds, soya, maize and buckwheat.
– Livestock sectors: chickens, duck, cattle
– Vegetable sectors, in partnership with Bonduelle and Green Giant: sweetcorn, green beans and garden peas, etc.
– Plant sectors: waxy maize, soya, food-grade soybeans, biscuit wheat, etc.
The division’s strategy is accompanied by the roll-out of new sectors in three areas: plant, livestock and energy. Focus on plants, a hot topic.
– new vegetables: Pilot contracts are proposed for lentils, dried beans and chickpeas, in partnership with Bonduelle. A potato sector has also been launched, with manufacturers from Southwest France.
– organic field crops: the market is dynamic in terms of crop areas and is diversifying. Thanks to the work of the Agribio Union teams who commercialise members’ products, markets are developing around new certifications. Examples include wheat with the Agri Ethique label for the SUIRE mill, flax with the Biochine label for the CAUVIN oil mill and soya with the Biopartenaire label for the Nutrition & Santé group.
– regenerative agriculture: Euralis has become a member of the “Pour Une Agriculture du Vivant” collective (PADV – For a Living Agriculture). Constituted as an association, this cooperative movement’s main mission is to accelerate the food and agricultural transition by developing sectors for agro-ecological products. In this dynamic, the cooperative is continuing its collaboration with the whisky producer Irish Distiller (a subsidiary of the Pernod-Ricard group) for the sustainable production of whisky from grain corn in Southwest France. The result is advisors and farmers trained in this living soil agriculture. For the 2022 season, some twenty maize producers will benefit from a premium ranging from €5 to €15/tonne depending on the criteria defined by the PADV reference framework. In total, more than 6,000 tonnes of maize will be grown according to the principles of regenerative agriculture. In the medium term, the aim is to capitalise on these production techniques to develop plant sectors.
– GAÏA contract: adds value to the tonnes of maize and soya produced by farmers who participate in the environmental and social effort thanks to a list of criteria linked to agro-ecology and best environmental and social management practices (introduction of cover crops, reduced tillage, reduced use of plant protection products, waste management, water optimisation, etc.). 10,000 hectares are planned for 2022.
Plus renewable energies, agro-forestry, kiwis, etc.
Overall, for all sectors combined, an additional 25% contracted areas are planned for this year’s campaign, which should bring the percentage of crop areas in value-added sectors to 43%.
Advice and services to support the development of sectors
“In 2021, we chose consulting within the framework of the EGALIM bill and have rolled out our new agronomic consulting offer to farmers with the effective implementation of services to 1,800 farms in Southwest France”, highlights Anne-Claire Richard, Marketing & Innovation Manager for the Agricultural Division.
“For the 2022 season, we’d like to continue developing these consulting offers. To this end, we have strengthened their content with the integration of regulatory services, in particular the PPF (fertiliser forecasting plan) and the CAP, and the deployment of tools to support marketing management. We have also clarified links with events planned by our Producer Organisations to help the council support the development of the sectors.”
The cooperative relies on the use of its AGROCLIC VISION tracking tool to meet its commitments to producers within the framework of consulting as well as its industrial clients within the framework of sector contracts.
Interview with Philippe Joseph, member farmer in Lons, Southwest France “I subscribed to a Gaïa contract to enhance and diversify my maize production: I produce sweetcorn, waxy maize and maize intended for research purposes. It is also a way to guarantee my income. This approach is quite natural for me as I have been committed to sustainable practices for several years now. Logically, I therefore meet the criteria of the Gaïa specifications: introduction of cover crops, reduced tillage, reduced use of plant protection products, waste management, water optimisation, etc. This commitment is an intermediate step before regenerative agriculture, which I would like to test in the long term on my farm. As a farmer, I feel I have a duty to fight against global warming, to move towards low-carbon energy, and, more broadly, to meet societal expectations. In this same logic, along with my son, I am starting the direct sale of beef bred in an eco-friendly, extensive system.”