Cyril Melin, investment director at Sofiproteol, Avril’s financial arm, told FeedNavigator the JV will produce organic soybean meal, organic sunflower and, to a lesser extent, organic rapeseed.
“Organic animal sectors need concentrated French organic plant proteins to feed animals. Oleosyn will meet this demand by supplying organic oil cakes, the majority of which will be of French origin.”
Oleosyn Bio will use 100% French rapeseed and sunflower seeds, but, in terms of the soybean supply, it will be French provenance for the most part, with the aim of making it 100% French in the near future, said Melin.
The JV, which will be fully operational at the end of next year, aims to secure supplies and prices over several years, the two groups said.
The idea behind the collaboration, said Melin, was to combine the needs and expertise of both companies around a common goal in order to ensure optimum production costs.
Crushing capacity, feed output
The Oleosyn production facility will be run out of a plant previously used by Avril’s animal feed manufacturing arm, Sanders. It will have a crushing capacity of 30,000 tons of oilseeds per year.
The meal produced, 25,000 tons per annum, will be used in Terrena and Sanders’ animal feed plants in Western France. It will be targeted at feed for organic laying hen and broiler production, added Melin.
The organic oil will mainly be transformed into table oil by Avril under the Lesieur brand.
This is not the first tie-up between the two French companies. Avril Sofiproteol and Terrena are already involved in another JV called Inveja, which produces plant protein ingredients and mixtures for the food industry.
Sofiptoteol and Esfin Gestion, a unit of French bank Credit Cooperatif, are taking a share in the project. The Aquitaine region and Agence Bio are also co-financing the initiative. However, Melin said the venture remains open to other investors.
Non-GMO soybean cultivation in France
Avril Sanders has been looking to develop non-GMO soybean cultivation in France for several years, structuring and organizing the supply chain around that.
In conjunction with the cooperative, Euralis, it opened a soybean crushing facility in Vic-en-Bigorre, in the southwest of France, in 2017. That plant has a crushing capacity of 25,000 tons of soybeans, including 5,000 tons of organic beans, serving livestock production sectors in Southwest France.