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Welcome to a world where food has a natural talent.
With pure air, high altitude pastures, volcanic land, natural water supplies and the fertile land of the Limagne plain, the food industry of Auvergne draws its strength from its natural resources. These assets have given rise to a dynamic food cluster and Auvergne's third largest job generator with over 14,000 employees, 2,200 companies and a turnover of approximately 3 billion euros. The meat field, meat products and the dairy field are the driving forces of the food cluster, also renowned for beverages and grain processing.
The food sector has a wide array of companies, from the very small craftsmen companies to big industrial groups established in many sectors: Lactalis for milk, Danone for mineral waters, Limagrain for cereals, Kraftfoods, Brüggen...
The meat and meat product field
A land of livestock, Auvergne is home to three famous breeds of cow: the Aubrac, the Charolais and the Salers. It is also ranked as the fifth region for its ovine meat production and develops pig breeding in keeping with the environment, under the name of "Porc Montagne". Although the main emphasis is on meat for butchers, the meat industry is also focused on poultry breeding with ten red labels mirroring its quality along with the production of delicatessen products.
Two clusters renowned on a national scale
InnoViandes pools resources dedicated to companies of the field and their suppliers. It involves companies, research laboratories and training centres working on eight topics ranging from health and safety to nutritional qualities, including innovation, the environment and automation. Clermont-Ferrand has a concentration of 80% of the French research and development potential in the meat field.
Céréales Vallée came about thanks to the partnership of the cooperative group Limagrain Verneuil holding, specialised in field seeds which diversified its activity to bakery products (Jacquet group), cereals and vegetable
seeds and the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA (French national institute for agricultural research)). This centre is aimed at improving the seed selection techniques in order to develop products better adapted to nutritional requirements. It is also involved in research for new uses of cereals such as biodegradable plastic.
The milk field
One quarter of the food companies of the region are dedicated to the dairy industry. Auvergne is the only region with five Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (registered designation of origin): Cantal, Salers, Saint-Nectaire, Bleu d’Auvergne and Fourme d’Ambert.
The cereal processing field
Auvergne is well known for the fertility of its Limagne and Allier plains and has seen the birth of the Limagrain group, today ranked as the fourth seed producer in the world. Alongside cereal and flour production, the region has also developed an industry focused on animal foods.
The beverage field
The beverage field employs manpower of over 1,200 in renowned companies such as Société des Eaux de Volvic or Société des Eaux de Source du Bassin de Vichy. Auvergne handles one fifth of the national mineral water production. With its 109 springs, it is the richest area in Europe for mineral water. It is also a former wine-growing region and today has two areas boasting the appellation d’origine VDQS : les Côtes d’Auvergne and le Saint-Pourçain.
Training and research
Quality and innovation are enhanced by 2 main clusters : Nutravita and Céréales Vallée.
The region welcomes important reasearch centers, as the Cemagref (national centre for agricultural mechanisation and rural, water and forestry engineering) and INRA (French national institute for agricultural research).
This efficient economic environment comes with an adapted fabric of training, both via the University and continuing education as well as the specialised schools such as Vet'agro Sup (agricultural engineering school) and ENIVL (national school for the meat and milk industries).
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