Tereos starts organic sugar production in France!

The Group is preparing its first organic sugar beet campaign

At the beginning of July, the agricultural team showcased one of the first organic sugar beet plots—which will be processed at the Attin sugar factory during the 2019/2020 campaign—on Arnaud and Sylvain Bailleul’s farm in Troisvaux  (Hauts-de-France region). 

Following several agronomic and industrial tests in 2018, Tereos is now ready for its first organic campaign. The Group is affirming its aim to expand its presence in this growth market by partnering with around 30 of its cooperative associates who are organic farmers or are converting to organic farming, half of whom are cooperative associates. “Tereos has been playing a major role in marketing organic cane sugar in Europe for over 15 years through its distribution subsidiary Loiret & Haentjens.  The Group will now produce its own organic sugar from sugar beets in response to a strong consumer demand for organic and local products,” explains Philippe Huet, Head of Tereos Commodities, R&D, Sales and Marketing.


Nearly 200 hectares of sugar beets were sown for the campaign


Adapting production processes presents a challenge

After a testing phase in 2018 that allowed us to anticipate the challenges surrounding industrial-scale production by adapting production processes, organic sugar beet will be delivered and processed at the Attin sugar factory in Pas-de-Calais, France, from the start of the next campaign in September 2019.

From an agronomic viewpoint, specific support has been put in place for the partner growers. Mechanical weed control represents the main challenge in organic sugar beet farming. For example, test plots were monitored by growers and various partner organizations (Chambers of Agriculture, ITB, agricultural equipment companies, etc.), allowing the alternative techniques to be assessed within the scope of organic farming.

Tereos held a press conference on July 4 about the launch of its organic campaign: Sylvain Bailleul, cooperative grower; Marie-Sophie Lesne, Vice-President of the Hauts-de-France region responsible for agriculture, agri-food and the bio-economy; Laura Loffler, Head of Development of Organic Business, and Marthe Crombez, Project Manager for organic sugar beet farming, attended the event to present how the Group is developing its organic business and explain everything that has been done to kick-start organic sugar beet production.

 Download the press release (in French)