Agribusiness gets major funding from the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank and Florimond Desprez sign a €40 million loan agreement to finance research into new plant species adapted to climate change.

  • A first partnership aimed at strengthening European competitiveness in the seed sector and adapting to climate change
  • Supporting rural economic development and agro-ecological transformation through innovation in bio-economy value chains
  • Investment guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the main pillar of the investment plan for Europe

This loan will be used to finance research, development and innovation (RDI) activities related to the selection of new plant varieties from field crops compatible with agroclimatic conditions. These new plant species will have to resist more frequent and violent abiotic and biotic stresses, but also support agro-ecological transformation and mitigate natural resource scarcity.

In line with the objectives of the European Investment Bank and the European Union in terms of innovation, promotion of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and support for European cohesion areas, this project contributes to the resilience of agricultural systems in the face of climate change. Hence, it will make it possible to reduce the environmental footprint of agricultural activities and, at the same time, to maintain agricultural productivity as well as the profitability and continuity of business in this sector. In fact, Florimond Desprez focuses its efforts on species whose agro-industrial sectors for human food are large and complex, such as soft wheat, sugar beets and potatoes, but also durum wheat, industrial chicory or protein peas whose societal contribution is significant.

This is the first long-term partnership between the European Investment Bank and the Florimond Desprez Group created under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the mainstay of the investment plan for Europe.

Florimond Desprez conducts research activities for cultivar selection and seed production. Its main office is located in Cappelle-en-Pévèle in the province of Nord, and the main research and development centers are located in various European rural areas. This investment will mainly benefit the group’s research facilities in France and Belgium, as well as in six other European countries. In addition to its positive environmental impact, this project will allow the creation of 30 new highly qualified full-time equivalents (FTEs) in research and development activities.

Francois DespresPresident Florimond Desprez announces: Since its inception in 1830, Florimond Desprez has strived to develop varieties that meet the needs of farmers and agricultural sectors. The need for agro-ecological transformation, the challenges of climate change and the need for food independence in Europe require us to increase our research efforts. Through his support, which we are honored, the European Investment Bank gives us the means to contribute positively to the transformation of European agriculture towards an ever greater social and environmental benefit. I would like to salute Crédit Agricole Nord de France, who also supports us in this new phase in the history of our group. »

Ambroise Fuel Comments of the Vice President of the European Investment Bank: The European Investment Bank is pleased to be able to support a highly innovative European family business in the agricultural seed sector, whose activity is of strategic importance in adapting tomorrow’s agriculture to the effects of climate change and ensuring our food security and sovereignty. The new varieties of field crops developed by Florimond Desprez for the different links in the agricultural sector contribute to the preservation of the knowledge and competitiveness of the European Union in an area essential for the future and the success of its transition. Towards a sustainable future an agro-ecological model.

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni comments: “The financing agreement between the European Investment Bank and Floremond Despres, with the support of the Investment Plan for Europe, will give an important impetus to research and development in seed varieties that are more resource-efficient and more resilient to climate change. Investments of this kind allow a more careful and efficient use of our natural resources, including It is in line with the European Green Deal, while supporting jobs and businesses in the European agricultural sector.”

general information

About the Florimond Desprez Collection

Florimond Desprez practices the professions of cultivar breeders and seed producers that meet the needs of arable farmers, corresponding agro-industrial sectors and consumers, while actively supporting agro-ecological transformation. The group mainly selects species intended for human consumption, being one of the world leaders in sugar beet seeds, one of the European leaders in straw beet seeds and a major player in the European potato seed market. Florimond Desprez, an independent family business, located in 65 countries, devotes 15% of its turnover to research and employs 1,200 people.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank, to which 27 member states of the European Union contribute, is the union’s long-term financing institution. It finances qualitative investments that contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the European Union. Since 2019, it has accelerated its transformation into a climate bank by committing to allocate at least 50% of its funding from 2025 to investments that contribute to combating and mitigating climate change. In 2021, it has already largely achieved this goal in France, where the European Investment Bank invested more than a third of its 9.2 billion euros, or 3.6 billion euros, in projects in the field of innovation, most of which are closely related to climate action.

About the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the mainstay of the investment plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”. It provides first loss guarantees, allowing the EIB to invest in more often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI are expected to mobilize €546.5 billion in investments, of which more than €90 billion are in France and support more than 1.4 million SMEs in the entire European Union.

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