40 million euro agreement to fund research on plants resistant to climate change

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the family group Florimond Desprez announced, with the support of the European Commission, the signature of a financing agreement of 40 million euros. This loan will be used to finance research, development and innovation activities focused on the selection of new crop varieties capable of coping with changes in agro-climatic conditions. In addition to resisting more frequent and extreme abiotic and biotic stresses, these new plant varieties will have to support the agro-ecological transition and compensate for the shortage of natural resources.

In line with the objectives of the EIB and the European Union in terms of innovation, promotion of sustainable agriculture, protection of the environment and support for European cohesion areas, this project will contribute to increasing the resilience of agriculture to climate change. It will reduce the environmental footprint of agricultural activities and, at the same time, preserve agricultural yields as well as the margins and viability of companies in the sector. Florimond Desprez is interested in crop species intended for human consumption and representing major and complex agro-industrial sectors, such as soft wheat, sugar beet and potato. The group also works with durum wheat, industrial chicory and protein peas, which make an important contribution to society.

Credit: EIB

This is the first long-term partnership between the EIB and Florimond Desprez set up under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Florimond Desprez conducts research on plant variety selection and seed production. Its head office is in Cappelle-en-Pévèle in northern France, and its 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 impact on the environment, this project will create 30 new full-time positions for highly qualified research and development employees.

François Desprez, President of Florimond Desprez, said: “Since its creation in 1830, Florimond Desprez has worked hard to develop plant varieties that meet the needs of farmers and agricultural sectors. Faced with the need for an agro-ecological transition, the challenges of climate change and the crucial importance of Europe’s food sovereignty, we must intensify our research efforts. We are honored to receive the support of the EIB, which gives us the resources we need to help transform agriculture in Europe so that it can deliver ever greater social and environmental benefits. I would like to salute Crédit Agricole Nord de France, which is also supporting us in this new stage in our group’s journey.

Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President, said: “The EIB 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 helping the agriculture of tomorrow adapt to the effects of climate change and preserve our food security and sovereignty. The new varieties of field crops developed by Florimond Desprez for the various links in the agricultural sector allow the European Union to maintain its expertise and its competitiveness in a vital field for the future and the success of its transition towards a sustainable agro-ecological model. .

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “This financing agreement between the EIB and Florimond Desprez, supported by the Investment Plan for Europe, will give an important boost to the research and development of seed varieties more resource efficient and at the same time more resilient to climate change. Investments like this will enable an even more careful and efficient use of our natural resources, in line with the European Green Deal, while supporting jobs and businesses in the European agricultural sector.”

For more information:
European Investment Bank
www.eib.org

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