Soybeans: Vivadour and Maïsadour join forces for local production

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What if soybeans were the solution? Eating better and producing better are key issues for players like Vivadour and Maïsadour. The two cooperatives want to contribute to this essential change, after having made several observations on the territory. Foodstuffs that are easy to produce on site, but still imported today… A desire to better feed the animals, to take better care of the soil. The eco-responsible dimension is gaining momentum and local actors are mobilizing to find solutions. Also, to meet these challenges, the two players joined forces to create Graine d’alliance on July 9th.

Maïsadour, on the road to sustainable processing

During its annual AGM “Transforming for a sustainable world”, the Maïsadour Group drew up a constructive assessment of its 2020-2021 financial year. Maïsadour campaigns in favour of a sustainable transformation to secure the activity of its members. Objective: to preserve and create new sectors to combine economic performance and sustainable agriculture. Concretely, this translates into:

The creation of Alliance Seeds. The new 100% South-West soybean sector, supported by the Maïsadour and Vivadour cooperatives. It is intended to supply the animal nutrition market with local, non-GMO soybeans.

The IDEAAL agroecological approach. Committed in 2020, it is a collective and unique initiative within the agricultural cooperative world. It identifies the good practices of the cooperative’s members and offers them individual and “tailor-made” progress plans in the service of sustainability.

The experimentation of aquaculture for its members. To respond to the current problems of fishing and the trend of increasing fish consumption.

The acceleration of the development of direct sales. After the opening of rural stores “En direct de nos producteurs ” in 2018, Maïsadour launched, at the end of 2021, a new network of franchisees. Designed around a new concept (grocery store, rotisserie, catering) of 100% South-West stores, “L’Amour du terroir” will be established in major French cities.

The challenge for Maïsadour is now to combine sustainable production and the economic performance of farms.

Graine d’alliance, a 100% local soybean sector

Producing 100% local soybeans will very soon be a reality. With the creation of the Graine d’Alliance sector, Vivadour and Maïsadour intend to create a totally local production, based in the South-West of France. This would supply the animal nutrition market with non-GMO soybean meal. And again, there is no question of continuing to import anything. The sector wishes to ensure complete control of the sector.

To do this, Graine d’Alliance will open a factory in Saint Sever, near the town of Mont de Marsan. A plant that will be ready to operate by February 2022. A not so long time to organize all the operation and ensure a multi-production site. Soybeans are a thoughtful and strategic choice to achieve many savings… While making a great gesture for the planet and the environment. Indeed, just as far as animal feed is concerned… Soy is the first source of protein they receive.

But to date, soybean farmers are scarce, and are on the other side of the world. Among the largest producers, we find in particular the United States, Brazil, or Argentina. Countries that export their production around the world, which is not without impact on environmental pollution. In order to limit long-distance imports as much as possible, Vivadour and Maïsadour also want to offer their local and reasoned soybean cultivation.

Thus, Graine d’Alliance wishes to take care of the preparation of the seeds, shelling, cooking, pressing, filtration. All these actions have one objective: to process 30,000 tons of soybeans each year, and thus cover 100% of the national need… And reach a turnover of 15 million euros by 2024.

Soybean field cultivation evolution
The objective of Graine d’Alliance? Relocate all soybean production to the Southwest.

A desire to refocus a market that is too dispersed

Today, having access to soybeans in France necessarily involves importing. The national market is particularly demanding, but the high fragmentation of the market and the lack of continuity in the sector impact the economy and the environment. In 2019, France imported 3.2 million tonnes and equivalent oil and soybeans. A significant amount, from Brazil… Which then covered only 46% of the country’s needs.

It is for this reason that Graine d’Alliance was born. To relocate soybean production to France. The obstacles to soybean production are the climate or the presence of soils that do not allow its cultivation. This is not the case in France, and more particularly in the South West. Soybean cultivation is indeed very adapted to the oceanic climate of the region, with a strong agronomic interest. The cultivation of soybeans would thus be in rotation with the cultivation of corn, needing the same type of soil… This would improve the quality of the latter.

The industrial management of this large-scale project is entrusted to Sud-Ouest Aliments (SOAL), in a context of agro-ecological transition. The future Saint Sever site will meet all the needs and processes for making soybean meal, essential for animal feed.

Thus, 90% of the site’s activity will be dedicated to the crushing of soybeans locally. The site will also have two other workshops that will also be dedicated to animal feed, to offer healthier products… Products that are better for the environment, soil and animal health… But especially local, so as not to need to import anymore. In many areas, France is seeking to relocate its production to control all aspects, and meet its objectives of quality and impacts…

Sources:

Maïsadour and Vivadour announce the creation of a 100% South-West soybean sector. Press release published on July 9, 2021

The history of Maïadour at a glance

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