On 27th, 28th and 29th May, the Pays de la Loire Region welcomed the European Regions involved in the Regions4Food project, their local stakeholders, as well as the Pays de la Loire stakeholders from the agricultural, agri-food and digital sectors, members of the Europe Agrifood Hub manage by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrifood Department of the Pays de la Loire Region. These three days were an opportunity to take stock of the project, to discuss the digitisation of the agricultural and agrifood sector through the feedback of the results of the studies carried out in their territories by each partner region, but also the presentations of regional good practices and study visits. It is in this context that the Pays de la Loire Region gathers the project partners and their stakeholders.
On the afternoon of 27th May, the second steering committee was held (for partner regions only) with the objective of taking stock of the status of the project, the next activities, steps, as well as the presentation of the report on the implementation of the first semester (deliverables, communication, etc.). On this occasion, Frédéric Poullain, Pays de la Loire Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrifood, gave a welcoming speech to all the partners. The steering committee ended with a closing speech by Mrs Lydie Bernard, Vice-President of the Pays de la Loire Regional Council and President of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrifood Commission.
During the first half-day of the interregional seminar on 28th and 29th May 2019, the project partners and their stakeholders present the results of the two studies conducted in each region from January to May 2019 by the 7 partner regions. The first study, devoted to the elaboration of a data catalogue on traceability, was conducted by the Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures d'Angers on behalf of the Pays de la Loire Region. The second study, devoted to the identification of needs, barriers, relational capital and good practices in favor of the digitisation of the regional agrifood sector, was carried out by the Region's agents.
The 28th afternoon was devoted to the presentation of the selected regional good practices promoting the digitisation of the regional agrifood sector. The Pays de la Loire region presented:
- the Challenge Compétences (by Laval Mayenne Technopole),
- ESA connect (by the Ecole Supérieur d'Agricultures d'Angers),
- Agri Startup Summit & AgriFarmLab (by Inf'Agri 85),
- Monagriculteur.coop (by Terrena),
- the Technocampus Alimentation, funding by the Region of collaborative R&D projects (example of PUMAgri), support for raising-awareness to digital transformation (by the Pays de la Loire Region),
- the Derval experimental farm (by the Regional Chamber of Agriculture).
The day of May 29th was entirely dedicated to study visits. The European delegation (composed of about 40 persons) was welcomed at the Derval experimental farm in the morning, where a presentation and demonstration of the Monagriculteur.coop application was given by Guillaume Ardillon. The second part of the morning was devoted to the presentation of Derval's experimental farm and its digital tools by Marc Fougère. In the afternoon, the European delegation was welcomed at the Technocampus Alimentation in Nantes. The project partners and stakeholders first had a presentation by Fabien Arignon of the PUMAgri robot. In a second step, a global presentation of the Technocampus and Cap Aliment was made by Véronique Bossière, replacing Oscar Castellani (excused). Then, the European delegation had a presentation of the Ligeriaa association by Dominique Launay, the Valorial competitiveness cluster by Adrienne Gentil, the Vegepolys competitiveness cluster by Marie-Pierre Cassagnes and Julieta Contreras, Weenat Company by Jérôme Leroy, and Capsulae Company by Arnaud Picot. The afternoon ended by a presentation of Food Innov Development by Marie-Claude Davies, and Tecaliman by Alexandre Nowicki.
The presentations, discussion times and results related to the implementation of the project constitute a solid basis for building the future action plan (phase 2 of the project) aimed at improving public policies in terms of digitisation of the regional agrifood sector. The partner regions must now start thinking about their future action plan. With regards to the Pays de la Loire Region in particular, stakeholders will have to fix themselves on the study visits of good practices that they will wish to see in the other partner regions. These study visits will take place in September, October and November 2019. As such, a forthcoming meeting of the Europe Agrifood Hub is being prepared to present more in depth the results of the studies carried out in the Pays de la Loire Region and to take stock of the new deadlines to come.