Why is Dijon Céréales involved in the European plant-based protein Awards?

The 3,800 cooperative farmers of Dijon Céréales contribute with their cooperative to developing a sustainable, innovative and competitive agriculture, in line with the regional territory and the expectations of society. Exchange with Pierre-Yves DYMARSKI, R&D Project Manager

What do you think is the biggest challenge we face in the food transition?

Agriculture is at the interface of many factors that contribute to the balance of our society. It nourishes, its primary function, but it also occupies and enhances the rural or peri-urban territory. It carries values related to nature and the environment. As an agricultural cooperative, with our members, we perceive and wish to support society's new expectations regarding sustainable food and agricultural production. The challenge is to produce high-quality raw materials that contribute to a healthy and balanced diet and have a limited environmental impact.

Our commitment to the Vitagora cluster since its creation illustrates this desire to move, throughout the chain from field to plate, towards the agro-ecology and food of tomorrow. Today, with the BFC Alliance, we are confirming this trend in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region, by combining the skills of our three cooperatives (Dijon Céréales, Bourgogne du Sud and Terre Comtoise). The objective is to concretize expertise and projects in the diversification of production (e.g. the development of plant-based proteins), to make agriculture a source of energy (methanisation) and to bring our cooperatives into the digital age.

What do you find most exciting about your missions?

R&D is an exciting environment by nature: every project, each new collaboration is a challenge. Finding the most suitable and efficient solution to each problem; removing technical, economic or scientific obstacles by combining our skills and know-how; testing new solutions in real conditions... each day is different and stimulating. The identification of the know-how and skills of new partners (academic or private), or startups, is also very stimulating.

Why does Dijon Céréales participate in the Awards?

Dijon Céréales is a partner of the Village by CA of Dijon, as well as a member of the Vitagora competitiveness cluster and its startup accelerator, ToasterLAB. The cooperative is therefore fully involved in the emergence of innovation, through collaborative projects, or in supporting startups. Dijon Céréales is particularly involved in the levers for promoting plant-based proteins, so it is quite naturally that the cooperative wanted to get involved in these Awards.

How is your organisation involved in the Awards?

Our structure will first be involved through communication around this event, via social networks and our websites. We will also provide the selected startups with a mentor, a specialist in the field of plant-based proteins, and through him, all the skills and know-how of our employees. The objective will be to provide the best possible support for the various projects, and to support them!