This is the first EIB financing operation under the EU bank’s €400m Agriculture and Bioeconomy Program Loan, backed by the Juncker Plan, and launched in April this year.
Sébastien Chauffaut, chair of the Roullier Group’s management board, said the loan would enable the Brittany headquartered group, which reported €2.5bn in combined revenue at the end of 2017, to implement and accelerate research projects that have sustainable agriculture as their end goal.
The research activities covered by the agreement will be carried out in the Roullier Global Innovation Centre (Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier – CMI) based in Saint-Malo and the Centre for Studies and Applied Research (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche Appliquées – CERA) in Dinard.
The Breton group's website states that its animal nutrition arm comprises three laboratories equipped with technology to carry out work on nutritional efficiency, the reuse of livestock waste and feed.
The EIB says the €400m fund is aimed at projects that seek to promote the efficient and sustainable use of resources and the re-use of by-products, and to develop intellectual property through the support of private sector research, development and innovation.
The initiative, said the EIB, enables direct lending for private sector investments from €15m to €200m with a loan amount ranging from €7.5m to €50m.
“With this single program loan of €400m, we can expect to support more than €850m worth of investments in the sector across Europe. The promotion of bioeconomy value chains, for example, in food and forestry-based industries, is key to achieving EU and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives on the environment and the low carbon/green economy,” said Andrew McDowell, EIB VP responsible for bioeconomy.
New innovation division
Last month saw the Roullier Group, which is a significant player in the feed phosphates segment, create an innovation division called LMH.
The stated goal of the unit is to develop the company’s knowledge about the use of microorganisms in plant and animal nutrition.
In regards to animal nutrition, the company said the new division will support work on bacterial flora in cattle rumen, in particular, as well as on the preservation and quality of silage.
There will also be a focus on biogas production from manure or silage.