MIL-OSI Europe: France: EIB and Euralis sign €44 million loan agreement to finance research in new seed varieties

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Source: European Investment Bank

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  • First partnership to strengthen European competitiveness in the area of seeds and their resistance to climate change
  • Investment guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Euralis Group have signed a €44 million finance contract.

The operation covers financing for the research, development and innovation (RDI) activities of Lidea (Euralis’ seed activities) related to the creation, registration, production and marketing of new varieties of non-GMO seeds for agricultural use.

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

Every year, Lidea invests more than €34 million in research and development to provide a broad and stand-out range of high value-added solutions for conventional and organic farms. Lidea offers a wide variety of corn, sunflower, straw cereal, rapeseed, soybean, sorghum, dried vegetable, feed and plant cover seeds. To date, 6 million hectares of land in 48 countries has been seeded with Lidea products.

The various programmes will be rolled out in Euralis’ research facilities and innovative sites in France, Germany, Romania, Spain and Poland.

“We welcome this first partnership”, said Euralis Group General Director Philippe Saux“Innovation lies at the heart of the strategy of developing and conquering new markets for Euralis. Innovation must bring added value to farmers. R&D ensures an ever-increasing flow of genetic and varietal innovations to meet the needs of farmers and markets, while taking into account the environmental dimension. In the face of climate challenges, the trust of the European Investment Bank and its support for our research projects will clearly accelerate the marketing of concrete solutions from the agricultural world.”

“We are very pleased with this first partnership with a cooperative that plays a central role in the agricultural sector in France and whose activity in the development of new seeds increases farmers’ competitiveness and resilience to the impact of climate change,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “Europe ‘s capacity for research in agricultural biotechnology is now of strategic importance and this support from the EU bank for Euralis’ projects will enable Europe to strengthen its position in this field by creating the seeds of tomorrow.”

European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This agreement between the EIB and the Euralis agricultural cooperative group, backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, will unlock additional investments for the research and development of new non-GMO seed varieties. This will allow farmers in France and across Europe to improve the climate resilience and competitiveness of their crops and therefore also boost their revenues. We will continue to support the agricultural sector, which plays a key role in putting food on our tables and maintaining rural communities.”  

This contribution of additional resources makes it possible, in the long term, to:

  • increase farmers’ resistance and competitiveness in the face of climate change with the creation of new varieties of high-yield crops;
  • strengthen Euralis’ strategy to accelerate its competitiveness in the seed sector with the ultimate aim of optimising farmers’ incomes.

Background information

About the EIB

The EIB is working to ensure the EU is on the cutting edge of the next wave of innovation. As the EU climate bank, it aims to encourage the emergence and deployment of new technologies to meet ongoing challenges such as the energy transition to a new green growth model and to help European innovators become world leaders in their areas of activity. 

The EIB is one of the world’s leading climate action lenders. Of the over €10 billion invested by the EIB in France in 2020 (France was the second-largest beneficiary of financing after Italy), 48% went to projects combating or mitigating climate change.

About the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first-loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more, and often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI should make it possible to mobilise €546.5 billion of investment (including over €90 billion in France) and support more than 1.4 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the European Union.

About the Euralis Group

Founded by farmers in 1936, the Euralis cooperative group is a multi-sector company present throughout the value chain, holding strong market positions in the agricultural, seed and agri-food fields.

Its aim is to ensure the sustainability and development of farms, to design and propose customised and innovative solutions, to promote authentic and inventive gastronomy with exceptional products in France and around the world.

In 2020, the Euralis Group achieved turnover of €1.3 billion. It has almost 6 500 members and 6 000 employees in 16 countries.

Lidea (Euralis’ seed business) is among the top six field seed companies in Europe, and covers the entire value chain: research (with 17 stations across the continent), selection, field seed production (45 000 ha of production, eight production sites across five countries) and product marketing. Lidea has a turnover of €360 million and employs 2 000 people across Europe.

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