France’s fourth-largest agri-food firm has announced their intention to refocus on plant-based solutions, and, in particular, developing plant-based proteins for human consumption.
“Our goal is perfectly clear; we want to become the leader for plant-based solutions in service of a range of transitions, including food, environmental and agricultural,” Jean-Philippe Puig, Managing Director of Avril Group, declared at a press conference to present their 2020 annual report. To achieve that goal, the fourth-largest agri-food company in France has announced its intention to let go of their “animal-product processing” branch, which includes their egg-related activities, including the Matines egg brand.
The firm, which generated €5.8 billion in 2020, will focus most notably on food products for the general public – including their Lesieur and Puget vegetable-oil brands – as well as on specialty ingredients. The group has invested deeply in developing plant-based proteins, and the government has announced that they will be providing €1.2 billion in subsidies in the economic-stimulus package.
“Vegetable oils and proteins are the core of our profession, and we have gotten 100% behind the government’s plant-based-protein development scheme. It will be a catalyzer, enabling growth on the agricultural side of the sector,” Xavier Dorchies, in charge of the firm’s Strategy and Development, explains.
– Canola Proteins
“We have a highly innovative project for producing proteins meant for human consumption from canola,” Xavier Dorchies points out. “Our factory in Dieppe will be operational by 2022; that’s a project we’ve been working on with the Dutch company DSM for five years now.”
In another focus for development, the group – which produces biodiesels, like Oleo100, a 100% plant-based agro-fuel from canola – also intends to grow its renewable energy activities. And finally, the firm is also planning to develop “services and solutions for farms,” in fields like fertilization and animal nutrition. “We are going to do everything we can to encourage more virtuous agriculture by adopting a logic of income-generation for ecological practices, as we already do with OleoZE,” Xavier Dorchies adds. The platform allows farmers to sell their canola or sunflower seeds at higher-than-market rates in exchange for sustainable agricultural practices (particularly seed origins, fuel consumption, use of plant-protection agents, fertilizer, and more). In 2020, Avril’s subsidiary Saipol , the French leader in canola and sunflower processing, which manages the platform, collected 80,000 tons of sustainable seeds.
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