The New Aquitaine Agricultural Cooperation, the balance sheet for 2020
Agricultural Cooperation is new Aquitaine’s leading regional player. Its aim is to support the various agricultural cooperatives in the region through its expertise. Thus, the new year is synonymous with a balance sheet for the agricultural sector. The Agricultural Cooperation has therefore carried out a report of the harvests in 2020. Heavily impacted by the current health crisis, it has also been affected by climatic conditions. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 crisis has brought positive aspects to the sector, notably through the mass awareness of the benefits of local and french products.
The Agricultural Cooperation of New Aquitaine, a major player in the region
The New Aquitaine region is one of the largest agricultural regions in France. It owns more than 4 million hectares and more than 83,000 farms, giving it the first place in terms of agricultural region. For example, the Agricultural Cooperation of New Aquitaine brings together 250 agricultural cooperatives and more than 62,000 farmers within it. It is led by a 44-member Board of Directors. These members are directors and presidents of agricultural cooperatives in the region. These members are organized into 8 sections: wine, milk, livestock and insemination, white meats, fruits and vegetables, the Multipurpose Co-op, large animal cultures and nutrition and other activities and services.
The Cooperation thus has several missions. Firstly, to strengthen the communication and influence of agricultural cooperation, to develop regional sector strategies or to support cooperatives through advice and training. Thus, the Cooperation puts at the service of cooperatives its various expertise in legal, governance, financing, CSR…
2020, a complicated year for the agricultural sector
At the beginning of 2021, the New Aquitaine Agricultural Cooperation is taking stock of the year 2020 that has just passed. Thus, due to the summer drought, 2020 was not a successful year for agriculture. Overall, harvests have not been good for several sectors. This is particularly the case for fruits and vegetables, with a decrease of 10 to 30%, cereals with a decrease of 40 to 50% but also wine with a decrease of 10 to 15% compared to the previous year. In addition, as avian influenza is still in place, it has had a strong impact on livestock farms.
Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has not spared the agriculture sector, says Denis Baro, Coop President of France New Aquitaine. Indeed, the closure of the restoration has had a negative impact on agriculture. As a result, farmers ended up with a large amount of surplus products. One example is festive poultry, which is less consumed because of the end-of-year celebrations and smaller committees.
Nevertheless, the health crisis has not only had negative aspects. Indeed, this has allowed the French to consume more local and to promote Made in France. This new reflex on the part of consumers is thus to be perpetuated because creates real added value for farmers of the Agricultural Cooperation.
Agriculture, a promising and innovative sector
Agricultural cooperatives are among the top 5% of companies in the New Aquitaine region. Indeed, they represent a real lever for the regional economy. As part of the assessment of the economic and social impact of cooperative activity, the study project “TerritoiRe and Ancrage des Co-operatives” (TRACE) has been set up. Initiated in 2019, the project was carried out in partnership with 9 cooperatives as well as with the financial support of the Regional Council. The aim is to demonstrate the socio-economic impact of cooperatives on regional activity. Thus, this study showed that one million euros of turnover generated by a cooperative can create up to 23.6 jobs. To give an idea, the same amount generates only 2.1 jobs in the aeronautics sector.
Agriculture is thus an ever-expanding sector. Indeed, it is necessary to feed the country and is rich in resources. That’s why agriculture needs to innovate to meet consumer expectations and needs.
Moreover, it is also in an environmental logic that this sector must be innovative. Indeed, they are directly affected by the climatic vagaries due to global warming. Thus, this sector must be blameless on its way of producing so as not to be more impacted. Agriculture is responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of groundwater is contaminated with pesticides. In this dynamic, major projects are put in place. These include the increased use of new technologies and renewable energy. Thus, a cleaner future depends on all sectors of the economy, without exception.
1st press briefing of the year 2021 of the New Aquitaine Agricultural Cooperation, New Aquitaine Agricultural Cooperation, press briefing of February 1, 2021