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Nord-Pas-de-Calais displays leading agri-food talent at SIAL 2012

France’s leading region for agri-food exports will focus on innovation and Agroé, its cluster of excellence within the sector.

Nord-Pas de Calais, in the north of France, is the country’s leading region in terms of the volume of its agri-food exports, and third nationwide in terms of their value (€11.6 billion in 2010). With approximately 30 companies, the region’s presence at SIAL 2012, the international food trade fair, will reflect the diversity of its agri-food sector, which is a flagship industry for the regional economy.

Every sub-sector of the region’s agri-food industry will be represented at the trade show from 21 to 25 October of this year at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre (north of Paris), including meat and poultry, fruit, vegetables and seafood, as well as sweet products and frozen food.

The Nord-Pas-de-Calais stand (N 027, in Hall 5A) will highlight innovation, more particularly by putting the spotlight on Agroé, the region’s agri-food cluster of excellence that underpins the sector in the region.

The Nord-Pas-de-Calais stand is supported by a number of other locally based institutional partners from the agri-food sector, including Certia Interface, which assists companies in their technological development and innovation.

For its part, the Aquimer cluster of excellence helps companies working in the field of aquatic products become more competitive, while the Nutrition, Health and Long-Life cluster promotes collaborative research projects focusing on neurodegenerative diseases associated with ageing, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as nutrition.

The Consumer Awards will be presented to the winners of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Agrifood Innovation Competition on the region’s stand on Tuesday 23 October, with first place going to the most innovative product out of 14 finalists, and as chosen by the public.

This is in addition to the four Business Prizes that were awarded by the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region at the end of September 2012: the Fitness and Well-Being Prize was given to Saint-Géry’s pork/vegetable sausages; the Practicality Prize to Soufflet Alimentaire’s ready-filled ramequins; the Terroir and Culinary Art Prize to JB Viande’s pork sausages; and, finally, the Jury’s Special Prize to Chicorée du Nord’s chicory and fruit drink.

Internationally, Nord-Pas-de-Calais is at the forefront in the production of chicory, with 114,300 tonnes produced in 2010, and endives, with 105,000 tonnes in the same year (Source: Agreste – SAP/Statistique Agricole Provisoire). The region scores very highly in terms of agricultural exports and its vegetable-processing/preservation industry is one of Europe’s largest: Nord-Pas-de-Calais’s vegetable output reached €258 million in value, in 2010.

Nord-Pas-de-Calais dominates France’s potato sector, producing 2.60 million tons a year, i.e. a third of France’s entire annual production in volume. Furthermore, the region ranks very highly nationally for dairy products, brewing, malt and confectionery. Nord-Pas-de-Calais is also experiencing steady development in organic farming, especially in market gardening and dairy farming.

by S. C.
08 october 2012, World News > Europe

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