Why is Advitam a partner of the European Plant-based protein Awards?

The Advitam group, whose parent company is Unéal, is a historical agricultural cooperative in the Hauts-de-France. Discussion with Cédric COGNIEZ, General Manager.

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

In my opinion, the great challenge lies in the new balance we must find between food production and consumption. We are currently in a rapidly changing environment. Consumer expectations are changing globally (taste culture, price, nutritional quality, etc.), global food demand is increasing and new ecological constraints such as access to water, soil impoverishment, pollution and global warming are increasingly being felt. At the same time, companies must be able to maintain their sustainable activity and this new balance must therefore be economically viable for food players. We must build a balance that takes all these parameters into account. Our current production and distribution is organized into major industrial sectors. These actors are willing to change but reorganizing an entire sector takes time and moving to a consumption with more plants will take time.

What do you find most exciting about your missions?

At Advitam, we must support our status as an agricultural cooperative and, by extension, our member farmers. In particular, we are working with them to ensure that they take the best possible course in the food transition by providing them with new innovative and economically viable solutions. This unique relationship with our members is an exciting first step. Another aspect is to work on the relationship of trust between producers and consumers. There is indeed a disconnect between the urban world and the agricultural world and recreating the link is a mission that drives us. Working on the issue of product traceability is an example of a lever that can restore this trust. Finally, our profession meets a fundamental need to feed ourselves.

Why does IMPROVE participate in the Awards?

The Advitam group is committed every day to being a driving force in regional food technology. We are also a partner of the Village By CA Nord de France. In view of the problem supported by this call, it was obvious for us to bring our expertise and get involved. We also want to identify startups that provide interesting transformation and distribution solutions. We have a strong position in production, and wish to best represent the entire food value chain from upstream to downstream. Finally, we wish to have a positive impact on our territory and this type of initiative contributes to the concretisation and development of business projects and therefore to the creation of employment and value. There is a CSR dimension driven by Advitam that naturally pushes us to participate.

How is your organisation involved in the Awards?

We are present on the steering committees in the same way as the other partners, which allows the Village By CA and the ecosystem of the call for applications to benefit from our resources and expertise on this subject. We are also a communication relay and give additional visibility to the call through our distribution networks. Finally, we are committed to supporting projects that are in line with Advitam's themes and objectives.