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A farmers’ social network to ensure soil protection

Our unique relationship with the land stems from our long-lasting commitment to working closely with the farmers who supply us. That’s how we’ve built a truly integrated production chain that combines their know-how with our technical and agronomic expertise. In 2016, in keeping with our philosophy, we helped set up the Innova Terre network in Nord Picardie, a region of north-eastern France. 

Innova Terre is a group of around 60 farmers using innovative practices to farm their land in a more ecologically friendly way, and in particular to protect the soil – their most important productive asset. The farmers are reshaping their practices in three areas:

Innova Terre also functions as a network for farmers to exchange practices. It encourages, stimulates and supports farmers who are committed to large-scale adoption of agroecology methods for important, typical rotations in the Nord Picardie region. In the long term, the movement spurred by the group should prompt widespread adoption of agroecology in vegetable production. 

The “Sols Verts” (green soils) platform

Innova Terre member Guillaume Tupigny is symbolic of the network’s efforts. He decided to introduce an agroecology development platform, known as “Sols Verts”, on his farm. The platform is partly funded by public institutions (ADEME and Agence de l’Eau (regional water agency), and includes the appointment of a dedicated technician who is experienced in agroecology. Its objective is to compare the levels of agronomic performance of the two systems: conventional agriculture and non-tilling with plant cover over a six-year rotation, including beetroot, potatoes and vegetables.

Further reading: How do we protect our soils? 

Our aim is simple: to use sustainable, mixed farming methods to restore the natural fertility of agricultural land and, in doing so, produce eco-friendly plant-based food and combat climate change.

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