Euralis has increased turnover by 15%
“We are in line with our goals for the toris years”, said Christophe Congues, the president of the Euralis cooperative group at the time of the financial balance sheet. Brings growing turnover “by increasing cereal prices and volumes, but also gains in market share in Maison Montfort’s retail business, a return to normality for Rougier’s out-of-home catering business and the continued development of Lidea, our seed brand » he details. However, the environment is unfavorable to say the least: “a phenomenon of inflation fueled by the war in Ukraine, the war in Ukraine itself, and the avian flu of a scale not yet known at the national level” recalled general manager Philippe Saux.
€54 million in agricultural model change and innovation
But if the right time to present the financial results for 2021-2022, it is because the strategies are focused on “international change and development” pay, believe the officials who do not forget to underline “the responsiveness and adaptability of teams”. The group has therefore invested €54 million in changing the agricultural model and in innovation. A change is needed “reverse polarity” implemented in the group’s strategy, referred to the Chief Executive Officer. “From now on, we no longer produce to sell, but we start with the customer first and then produce according to his expectations” explains Christophe Congues.
Notable consequences: on the ground, the contractualization of production is increasing (50% now, and a target of 70% in 2 years) and the cooperative’s contribution to agricultural activities that respect the environment more continues . During the fiscal year, approximately 16,000 hours of training were conducted by teams to continuously assume “the choice of advice to farmers over phytosanitary promotion”, recalls Philippe Saux. The amount is €1.3 million.
30% of turnover abroad
An investment in innovation that involves in-house research on seeds (9% of the turnover is dedicated to it) but also through the presence of the group within the Agri Sud Ouest Innovation competitiveness cluster or even new participation in the funds of investments such as Cap-Agro that support the development of start-ups with high development potential in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
As for international, this remains a major issue for the group. He realized 30% of his transfer there, especially within the framework of the activities of the Seed division and this despite the upheavals of the war in Ukraine. It will not be without effect: less than 15% of turnover in Ukrainian activities and a 30% decrease in seed production in the country. “But we did a good job”considered by the Director General.
Finally, the third axis of development and ambition for Euralis: betting on low-carbon energies with, first and foremost, the generation of solar energy. The president recalls the launch of the Solagri company whose activity is to support farmers in their photovoltaic installation project. “32 contracted for 10,000 MgW of electricity sold, meaning the annual electricity consumption of 600 households”he says. “It means we have great prospects ahead of us”, he enthuses. And for good reason, Euralis has taken over the roofs of its members: 1,000 hectares can be used for energy production, including 26 hectares for the Cooperative, which sees it as an opportunity to reduce their electricity bill, thanks for own consumption.
Regarding agrivoltaism, the cooperative launched a project to produce red kiwis under photovoltaic panels (20 ha) and confessed, through the voice of its president: “If the legal framework is changed (it is being debated in Parliament, editor’s note), we will take advantage of all the possibilities so that farmers can have a good living from their profession”with one condition: “There must be a real production under the panels”.
And the fat duck in all of this?
If duck activity is relatively spared during the 2021 holidays, the consequences of the avian crisis suffered throughout the year 2022, are likely to be felt this year on the shelves. In fact, the virus that did not survive in the Vendée where the incubation units are concentrated, downstream is mechanically faced with the lack of availability of production. “In France, we will produce for this year, half of what the market normally consumes, so the availability is very tight. As for Euralis, we are also affected but not to the same extent, with a decrease in production of approx. 25%said Philippe Saux.
The industry, to moderate the effect, will play with stocks that were previously overstocked. “We will reach a level of stocks of almost zero, historically low”, he studies. All in a context where the avian influenza virus has not left the territory for a year, this is also the first. “Between biosecurity, the professionalism of the breeders, the Adour plan, and the vaccination that will come, it is necessary to enter a resilient model, to somehow succeed in “living with” this virus”complete the president of the cooperative.