A major agri-food industry region, with a resolutely international outlook
The number one region for its combined agricultural and food-industry commerce, the Hauts-de-France is a land of innovation, home to multi-national corporations, small and medium-sized businesses and midcap-range exporting companies.
The Hauts-de-France is a favored region for the agri-food industry. In addition to both agricultural resources – as the number one region in France for soft wheat, sugar beets, and potatoes, and fishery – the Region is home to the largest fishing port in France and is the European leader in seafood processing, it has a dense transportation infrastructure network. These are all decisive assets for businesses in those sectors.
A key region for innovation, the Hauts-de-France is home to three major competitiveness poles: Aquimer, specialized in seafood and aquaculture; the Nutrition Health Longevity pole, which pairs health and nutrition; and IAR, the Bio-Economy pole.1
A veritable pillar of the regional economy, the agri-food industry is composed of businesses with international reach – such as Bonduelle, Roquette and Lesaffre – and large foreign corporations – including Häagen-Dazs, Nestlé, McCain and Barilla – as well as a great number of extremely dynamic midcaps and small and medium-sized businesses. Number one in France for its agriculture-and-food trade, the Region exports essentially to Belgium (24%), the United Kingdom (11%) and Germany (10%).2
Another asset for the territory: one in 10 bottles of champagne is produced here. As the world’s premier wine-growing AOC by value, Champagne is an essential economic sector, with €5 billion in turnover, 60% of which is from exports.3 The Hauts-de-France also has a well-established brewery tradition, and ranks second in France for beer production.4
In order to make it easier for midcaps and small- and medium-sized businesses to conquer new markets – Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia are the main focus – the Region offers both technical and financial support in partnership with Team Export Hauts-de-France.
Key figures of Hauts-de-France region
Hauts-de-France is the first exporting region for food products (non-beverage).
In 2016, 5.4 billion euros worth of products were exported.
The three main markets by volume:
United Kingdom 11%
Hauts-de-France is the first region for processing and canning vegetables : peas, string beans, white onions, salsify.
Dunkirk is the first port in France for fruits and vegetables import.
Boulogne-sur-Mer is the first fishing port in France and the first seafood processing port in Europe with 380,000 tons of seafood products shipped each year.
Hauts-de-France is the second region for beer production, 6 million hectoliters in 2018 (160 million gallons), 30% by volume of beer produced in France.
Hauts-de-France is the first region for soft wheat production, 20% of national production.
1 – This pole is involved with production and processing circuits for agricultural food products and other bio-based fuels and materials, such as packaging.
2 – The %s are expressed in volume of total exports. Source: French Customs 2016 in Horizon éco Hauts-de-France, N°249 “French Customs 2016, quoted in Horizon éco Hauts-de-France, N°249 “Agri-food industries: a pillar of the Hauts-de-France economy.”
3 – The first three international destination markets are the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan Source: Champagne Growers Syndicate
4 – With six million hectoliters (160 million gallons) produced in 2018, which represent nearly 30% of the volume of beer produced in France. Source: French Brewers Association