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Scientific & cultural excursion No. 6

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Champagne

OVERVIEW of the Region 

 

 

ChampagneLocated at the East of Paris, The Champagne region was administratively attached during more than 30 years with the Ardennes region, making the border with Belgium in the North.

Internationally known through its vine specialty, the agricultural vocation of Champagne-Ardenne is important (vineyards and cereals in particular), which has promoted the establishment of food processing industries. One local worker in fifteen works in the agricultural sector.The area has about 24,000 farms : 82% in crop production (51% vineyard, 31% arable) and only 18% in mixed farming/livestock or livestock only.Agricultural area (UAA) of the Champagne-Ardenne area is 1.55 MB ha or 5.4% of the national UAA.

Distribution of areas between the main crops:- Cereal = 740,000 ha (48%)- Oleo-protein = 232 000 ha (15%)- Industrial Crops = 96 000 ha (6%)- Annual Forage and grassland = 115 000 ha (7%)- Vineyards = 32 000 ha (2%)- Potatoes = 15 600 ha (1%).
The value of the regional agricultural production is 5.15 billion euros representing 7.3% of the national value.The agricultural area has high specificity with the cultivation of vines which represents just 2% of agricultural land area, but about 50% of regional farm value.

About potatoes

 

 

The potato production is made on 15600ha with an estimated value of about 220 M€.

The different markets are represented:

  • Approximately 10,000 ha for ware potatoes with approximately 2/3 fresh and the rest for processing for human consumption, over 500,000 tons.
  • Approximately 5000 ha for processing into starch, about 270,000 tons
  • Several hundred hectares of seed potatoes.

Several potato processing companies are located in Champagne-Ardenne: McCain in Matougues (275 000 tons), Tereos in Haussimont (270 000 tons), Farm Frites (40 000 tons) and Ghisetti (4 000 tons). For the fresh market, the main stakeholders are Parmentine, Terre de France and Pom'Alliance.

The added value of agricultural resources, especially in the area of plant bio-refinery, is to structure themes of regional innovation, from upstream (basic research) to downstream (industrial development). The Region therefore supports high-profile initiatives to affirm the regional territory as a testing ground for bio-refineries.(Sources: FranceAgriMer, Agreste, UNPT, CNIPT, GIPT, FDSEA51, pôle de compétitivité IAR)

Scientific visit

Tereos

 

 

(www.tereos.com) 

TereosTereos is the third largest sugar producer in the world, the largest in France and the second largest in Brazil.

It transforms raw agricultural materials into sugar, alcohol and starch.Tereos is a cooperative group owned by 12,000 French growers who produce sugar beet and starch potatoes.

With firm roots in the territories in which it operates, Tereos unites these cooperative partners around one shared long-term vision: adding value to agricultural production and offering high-quality food products. 

The company is convinced that the agricultural sector will be able to meet the challenge of feeding the world’s population both now and in the future.

So, it welcomes global change and the opportunities it offers, and is developing new outlets for agricultural production, contributing to the improvement of agricultural practices, and optimizing its industrial processes.

tereosThe cooperative vision developed by Tereos combines stability and dynamic development. It enables the Group to implement a development strategy to secure and expand the outlets for its cooperative growers' agricultural production, while effectively meeting its customers' needs for international growth.

‘Starch products’ cover a wide range of products: native starches, modified starches, sweeteners (glucose syrups, maltodextrins, dextrose, isoglucose, polyols).

Starch is extracted from corn, wheat, potatoes and manioc.

The raw materials are cleaned and then milled to separate the constituent parts. The starch milk produced is purified by washing and then it is processed in a variety of ways:

• Glucose
• Native starches
• Modified starches

By promoting sustainable agriculture, Tereos is trying to respond to the increasing yields required by the growing global population and the reduction in available agricultural land, by reducing environmental pressure on fields.

For example, this means continuing to reduce inputs (fertilizers and agrochemicals), by working with our cooperative partners and supplier farmers to embed sustainable agricultural practices and protect the soil.

Tereos’ commitments:

  • To compensate for the necessary increase in yields by reducing inputs and limiting our environmental impact on the land.
  • To become more resistant to the risks of climate change, safeguarding soil and water resources.
  • To ensure a long-term contractual supply of agricultural products against a backdrop of increased volatility

MILEOS® Frame 

Mileos® is a web-based, on-farm DSS available to potato growers to control potato late blight (LB), in France. It results from collaboration between ARVALIS and the Ministry of Agriculture (SRAL Nord-Pas de Calais).

With Mileos® (see www.mileos.fr), the fungicide application on potato crops is optimized, triggered according a real-time Late Blight risk assessment taking into account environmental data (climatic and disease pressure), agronomical data such as cultivar’s LB resistance and crop health practices for the potato field as chemical input and irrigation. In the aim to reduce environmental impact, Tereos has been developing the use of Mileos® for several years. In 2015, 232 growers received potato late blight advice by Mileos®. This represented 85% of the growing area (about 4900 ha). The network consisted of 55 weather stations.

Cultural visit

 AVIZE VITI CAMPUS (www.avizeviticampus.fr) 

 

 

This school was founded in 1919 further to a bequest from a champagne merchant with no direct heirs.It has been training 80% of the Champagne winegrowing professionals since its opening in 1927.

A high school attended by 336 pupils and students.

From the 1st year of high school until 2-year-vocational certificate (BTS)

3 options:
1. General and vocational › Vocational baccalaureate.
2. Vines and wine: BEPA (Agricultural vocational certificate) – Vocational baccalaureate – 2-year-vocational certificate in winegrowing and oenology.
3. Sales of wine and spirits: 2-year-vocational certificate option wine and spirit drinks.

2 vocational bachelor’s degree (30 students shared with Reims University) :

1. Winegrowing and environment.
2. International wines and spirits trade.


Avize Viti Campus coordinates three other agricultural, teaching facilities (Saint-Laurent, Aube, and Rethel) with four other bachelor’s degrees in a regional structure with the University focused on agro-resources and environment. 

This school has been certified Eco-label since 2008 on projects which include organic products in the meals served in the school canteen, car-sharing, waste and water management, eco-citizenship charter.

A winegrowing estate:

Cultivated area: 10 Ha
Classified “Grand Cru” AVIZE-CRAMANT-OGEROf which:

  • 4 Ha owned
  • 3 Ha as tenant farming (crop sharing)
  • 3 Ha as sub-contractor

Focus on welcoming visitors with the cooperative (3000 visitors/year) and on sustainable development:

  • 90% of the Utilised Agricultural Area using cover-cropping (10% for champagne Appellation of Origin) since 1988
  • 1 Ha organic farming since 2007 (more than 20% of the owned surface), to be compared with the current 2% of the Appellation of Origin.


With 3.5 employees, it develops practices of both conventional and organic wine growing for more than 10 years and experimentation of the revival of landscape hedges in collaboration with CIVC. It participated in the Unesco Word Heritage candidature for Champagne’s landscape. 

The development of sustainable winegrowing leads into an average reduction by 25 to 70% of spraying against downy and powdery mildew and Botrytis since the beginning of the 2000s. Action are carried on total recycling of winegrowing waste: advanced experimentation on solar drying of winegrowing sludge.

Regular experiments are joined with Reims University on:

  • Natural stimulation of crop defences
  • Balanced carbon footprint of our activities – work on energy efficiency of the different experienced crop systems etc.…

A very special structure: the cooperative of the former winegrowing students

The cooperative was created in 1952 to make up for the lack of vineyards in the school patrimony. It rents its head office and premises from the school. It works for the winemaking and sale of SANGER and VAUBECOURT brands.

The cooperative Director is also the school Director.

Other staff: one cellar master and one cellar Director – both teachers of oenology at the school + 2 employees for the wine sales and shipments.

Supply:

  • Grapes from the school estate = 1/3
  • 105 former students representing 2/3 of the supply, from 42 villages of Champagne region, among which 18% of pinot noir and pinot meunier.

It produces 8 different champagne blends. All profits are reinvested in the structure and in student education. Students in winegrowing/winemaking options spend an average of 2 days a week in the cooperative and in the winery. The business options are also very committed to selling our champagne on the international market.

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