humans. Sustainable food will probably involve replacing some animal protein with plant protein: changes in consumers tastes, their desire to try new things and their need to take concrete action to help save the planet are all leading to an accelerated adoption of products made with plant proteins, but I don t believe meat eating will stop. Once again, in developing countries, animal proteins are in short supply and both are needed.
What significant action has the Avril Group undertaken to promote sustainable agriculture? What are the lessons learned?
In France, I could mention Oleo100, the first biofuel made entirely from a renewable resource, which we launched in 2018 for transport professionals. It can fully replace diesel. The new fuel was developed in direct contact with the agricultural oilseed sector. One hectare of rapeseed can produce 1,500 litres of Oleo100 and 2,000 kilos of GM-free seedcake for animal feed at the same time. This makes it possible to ensure supplies of GM-free French dairy feed and guarantee protein sovereignty , which aligns with the President of the French Republic s comments at the last G7 summit in Biarritz in August 2019. This is a remarkable benefit for the consumer and a competitive advantage for our
regions. Thanks to this strategy, we can enter a virtuous circle, resisting imports of GM-based soya seedcake, which may be cheaper but cannot be traced and generates deforestation in the Amazon.
Another initiative is the Group s current development with DSM, producing a purified rapeseed protein referred to as protein isolate for human consumption. An industrial production unit will be operational in France by 2022. This will be a world first. It will offer food producers a French regional, sustainable and GM-free solution enabling the preparation of meat substitutes (known as meat analogues ) and other food products meeting strong market demand, since the emergence of plant products with great taste qualities.
How can we strengthened the circular economy within the extremely wide diversity of agricultural sectors across the world?
We cannot, indeed, act alone. It is essential for the major regulations on international trade to incorporate or reintroduce sustainability issues into their corpus. A product should not be marketed it if creates deforestation. This is the approach we will take as contributors to the renegotiation of the European Union Mercosur free trade agreement (reducing customs tariffs between the two regional blocs by 90%, including in the food sector). Decisions at this level will clearly affect the European Union as a whole.
But beyond these regulatory aspects, consumers behaviour is changing: good, high-quality, GM-free products will be more expensive than imported products, but produced in compliance with environmental restrictions, and the new generations have understood
It is essential for the major regulations on international trade to incorporate or reintroduce sustainability issues into their corpus.