Région Pays de la Loire
Varied production from the earth and the sea
France’s top region for beef production, the Pays de la Loire is also known for its wines, as well as being the region with the second-largest marine fish catch.
Food production is the largest industry in this region1 where livestock farming reigns supreme. Between them, meat, milk, and industrial baked goods account for three-quarters of the sector, in terms of jobs, revenue, and exports.
With 1,300 wine-growers and over 40 appellations for Anjou, Saumur and Nantes wines, the Region’s production is well-known abroad. The sector makes €265 million in revenue, and exports 17% of its production to 54 different countries.
Its liqueurs, including the world-renowned Cointreau, are also much appreciated overseas, particularly in the United States and Asia.
The agriculture-and-food industry is one of the three pillars of the Region’s export strategy. To boost exports, the Region has deployed five agents whose role is to connect local businesses with potential clients overseas. Those agents are based in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Chicago, Hong Kong, Hanoi, and London (the last three will be recruited in early 2021).
In another initiative, the Region is assisting beef producers in obtaining certification to export to China – which just lifted the remaining restrictions dating back to the mad cow disease outbreak – by organizing trade missions to China to meet with health services there. Producers can also obtain financial aid for prospecting for future clients and adapting their range and marketing tools to local demand.
With nearly 10% of agricultural land certified organic (figure which doubled from 2015 to 2020), the Region is committed to being proactive on that front. In 2018, a support plan focusing on the importance of creating well-structured branches within the organic sector was adopted. The objective is to encourage conversion within those branches, and to support processing companies.
1 – 80% of the Region’s 31,000 farms are devoted to livestock