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Talk with Crédit Agricole Nord de France and Crédit Agricole de Champagne-Bourgogne about food transition

Crédit Agricole CA Nord de France is the initiator of the Village by CA Nord de France, which has been running the European plant-based protein Awards since the first edition in 2017. This year, the Village by CA Champagne-Bourgogne, supported by Crédit Agricole de Champagne-Bourgogne, joins the Village by CA Nord de France. Talk with Isabelle AUGRAIN, Head of Personal and Professional Markets, Marketing, Multicanal and Innovation at Crédit Agricole de Champagne-Bourgogne, and Thierry LEBRUN, Head of Marketing and Innovation at Crédit Agricole Nord de France.

What do you think is the biggest challenge we face when we speak about food transition?

  • M. Lebrun :

In my opinion, the first challenge is cultural. By working and innovating on the notions of taste and pleasure, companies are driving new food trends and contribute to operating a cultural hub. Consumers increasingly understand the impact of their food on the environment, climate and biodiversity. More and more, we are realizing that the agricultural and food transition – necessary to save the climate and life in a context where 1 billion people are added every 10 years on the planet – is everyone's business: farmers, companies and individuals. If it is necessary to rebalance between animal and vegetable proteins to "save the planet", innovative product or service solutions must be designed to make the food transition desirable and accessible to all consumers, wherever they are, whoever they are.

  • Mme Augrain :

I am also convinced that the great challenge of the food transition is a cultural one. It is about reinventing our consumption habits and changing our food diets. This cultural challenge refers to notions of tradition, ethics, pleasure... And to the answers to be given on the questions: how can we accept to see the composition of our dishes evolve? How to maintain the pleasure of eating? How can we reduce our excessive protein intake? It is a major challenge to enable consumers to appropriate these developments.

What do you like most about your job?

  • Mme Augrain :

I am really happy to contribute to the economic, social and human development of the territory in which we operate. We support and allow our customers: individuals, professionals, businesses, farmers to carry out their projects. In particular, we try to facilitate the development of young companies accompanying them thanks to our Village by CA Champagne Bourgogne. I am proud to bring and share with the teams the values ​​of proximity and responsibility that drive us.

  • M. Lebrun :

Being Marketing and Innovation Director at Crédit Agricole Nord de France is above all to be a professional in customer relationships in our local markets. It's about building a lasting and stimulating human connection with our customers. A question emerges in recent years in my job: how can the bank support its customers in their social transformation? As a cooperative bank, being faithful to our values ​​means seeking to maximize our role as a universal proximity bank.

Why did your organization choose to participate in the Awards?

  • M. Lebrun :

Crédit Agricole Nord de France is at the origin of the village By CA Nord de France. This new startup ecosystem motivated some of our major customers to participate in this adventure. They became partners and ambassadors. Being partners of our customers is part of the DNA of our bank, so we want to involve in the project of the European Plant-Based Protein Awards. We also are positioned with the Village as a trusted “third party” that can help very different types of actors to work together, to cooperate to innovate. Connections with other Crédit Agricole Regional Banks in France or with other Villages by CA enable us to build a powerful network to support our customers in their quest for efficiency to expand their initiatives.

  • Mme Augrain :

The Village by CA Champagne Bourgogne of Dijon is predominantly Food and Health. Indeed, it forms an ecosystem in which the Village's startups and our historical partner Vitagora, with its Toaster Lab acceleration program, as well as the Foodtech team, meet daily. In addition, our region has a strong gastronomic and wine culture and our Village by CA Champagne Bourgogne will be transferred in 2021 within the future International City of Gastronomy and Wine. It is therefore natural that we participate in the Awards. It is also an opportunity to illustrate and capitalize on the strengths of the 29 Villages by CA network in France and to facilitate the open innovation of the agri-agro sector.

Why did your organization choose to participate in the Awards?

  • Mme Augrain :

Our Village by CA Champagne Bourgogne Mayor participates every week in discussions and exchanges with all the partners to prepare these awards. We provide a local relay of the operation to inform companies and the many schools that work in the field of agri-agro in the region. Moreover, we can welcome within our Village by CA, a laureate interested in the development of its activity in a welcoming territory that benefits from a dynamic and supportive environment.

  • M. Lebrun :

We support this project from the design of the call for applications to the selection committee and the nomination of the winners. We are involved in the search for new partners, in the co-construction of the offer with them and in the execution of the project during the steering committees. The winning startups will also be accompanied thanks to contacts with our customers. A financing offer has been created by Crédit Agricole Nord de France to support the development of the selected startups. Our Innovation Manager is also there to help startups obtain the most appropriate financing.