Diversification through organic products continues at Tereos
In order to actively respond to the growing demand for organic products, Tereos continues to pursue diversification in this sector. The Group has widened its portfolio with its own range of organic products to complement its well-established distribution of organic sugar cane, as shown by our supply in France.
Tereos, leading producer of organic beet sugar in France
In October 2019, we were proud to showcase our plant at Attin (Hauts-de-France). Reflecting on the first organic beet-growing harvest, Laura Loffler, the Group’s Head of Organic Business Development, said: “We are happy with this first harvest. Attin is the first plant in France to produce organic sugar and to be certified by Ecocert! We have shown that it is possible to produce organic beet sugar in our existing plants and offer this as an alternative for French growers.”
In order to penetrate the market in France, Tereos worked with around 30 organic growers — already growing organic produce or transitioning towards it – during the past harvest, half of whom are Group partners. The result: approximately 200 hectares of certified sugar beet. The number of organic growers doubled in 2020, while organic crops totaled 500 hectares.
Weeds, the main challenge to growing organic sugar beets
Particularly sensitive to competition from weeds, organic sugar beet cultivation requires careful weeding. The European regulation banning the use of synthetic chemicals on organic crops therefore stipulates that it should be done mechanically and/or manually.
To help our partners in their transition to growing organic crops, Tereos teams provide concrete advice by issuing a specialized newsletter. This covers a variety of topics: new sowing practices, types of seed, weeding, aphid control and fertilization.
Organic alfalfa: A promising sector
Tereos’ organic development goes beyond producing organic sugar, reflecting the Group’s diversification strategy. In 2019, Tereos launched a pilot harvest for alfalfa C2 (produced in the second year of organic conversion) at one of the Tereos Animal Nutrition dehydration plants at Pleurs (Marne, France). Three partners, in the process of converting to organic farming and based near the plant, successfully carried out a test harvest on 60 hectares, producing more than 600 tons of dehydrated alfalfa.
During the 2020 harvest, around 10 partners took part, cultivating almost 100 hectares of organic alfalfa.
Organic plant proteins