- The Group has now equipped itself with a cutting-edge agro-industrial center in south-western France that integrates all its activities from raw grain to bottled oil.
- Worth €31 million, this investment – opened by the French Prime Minister Manuel VALLS – is of historical importance to both Avril and its subsidiary Lesieur, and means that since 2006, more than €150 million have been invested in this site.
- The new Lesieur factory – the first in nearly a century for vegetable oil bottling and packaging – consolidates Avril's first "sectoral site", perfectly illustrating its model that integrates agriculture upstream with industry downstream, and reflecting its commitment to value creation in different regions of France.
- Value creation which also involves the employment of young and vulnerable people, notably in rural areas: during the inauguration ceremony, Avril, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Agriculture, the Food Industry and Forestry and the Minister for Towns, Youth and Sport signed a partnership agreement in the context of the "Enterprise and Neighborhoods" Charter.
The Avril Group has opened a new Lesieur vegetable oil bottling and packaging factory in Bassens (Gironde, France) in the presence of:
Manuel VALLS, French Prime Minister,
Stéphane LE FOLL, Minister for Agriculture, the Food Industry and Forestry,
Patrick KANNER, Minister for Towns, Youth and Sport,
Matthias FEKL, Secretary of State for Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, under the Minster for Foreign Affairs and International Development,
Martine PINVILLE, Secretary of State for Commerce, Artisanat, Consumption and the Social and Solidarity Economy, under the Minister for the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector,
Alain ROUSSET, President of the Aquitaine Region,
Alain JUPPE, Mayor of Bordeaux,
Jean-Pierre TURON, Mayor of Bassens,
The Group has thus brought together on the same site the activities of its subsidiary Saipol – which has been based in Bassens since 1983 – and its subsidiary Lesieur – which until the summer of 2015 was based in Bacalan, Bordeaux.
A cutting-edge agro-industrial cluster for south-western France, the first "sectoral site" for Avril
This agro-industrial cluster integrating the entire chain from raw grain to bottled oil brings together all Avril's activities in the field of plant production - from the crushing of rapeseed and sunflower grain to the production of food and feed products in bulk (oilseed meals, vegetable oils) or packaged (Lesieur vegetable oils), and including renewable energies (Diester biodiesel) and renewable chemistry (vegetable glycerin).
Until now, Avril's site in Bassens benefited from a crushing capacity of 800,000 tonnes of grain and production capacities of 250,000 tonnes of Diester biodiesel and 25,000 tonnes of raw vegetable glycerin per year.
The opening of this new Lesieur factory now gives the site a production capacity of 100 million liters of packaged oils per year (Frial, Fruit d’Or, Lesieur Cœur de Tournesol and ISIO 4). The cutting-edge industrial facilities also enable the bottling and packaging in different formats of between 1800 and 20,000 bottles per hour. The refined oils necessary for the preparation of finished products are supplied directly from Saipol's refining facilities, which are now on site.
Avril's new agro-industrial cluster for south-western France counts 200 employees, including 94 people in the new Lesieur factory.
A historical investment in Avril's "Factory of the Future"
Worth a total of €31 million, this investment is of historical importance to the Avril Group, as for its subsidiary Lesieur, and means that the total investment made in the site since 2006 in order to develop and diversify its activities now reaches more than €150 million.
"It is nearly a century that Lesieur had not built a new factory for the bottling and packaging of its vegetable oils", commented Jean-Philippe PUIG, CEO of the Avril Group. "Our Group is today opening its first sectoral site in France, which perfect illustrates its model that integrates upstream agriculture with downstream industry, from grain to the consumer. This is an historical event for us which demonstrates that industrial investment in France is indeed a reality."
"Avril's new agro-industrial cluster in the south-west provides the Group with a site that is exemplary in terms of production quality which exceeds the highest standards in the food industry", explained Yves DELAINE, Deputy CEO of the Avril Group and President of Lesieur. "Within this cluster, the new Lesieur factory is an industrial achievement at the cutting-edge of technology that will be able to respond even better to the demands of our customers and consumers."
The new factory is a unique illustration of Avril's industrial know-how, combined for the first time on a single site. It will enable the pooling of resources so as to reduce work flows between complementary activities. Since 2013, the site has also benefited from a sunflower hulling unit and a biomass boiler which, by producing steam to process rapeseed and sunflower grain, can improve the environmental footprint related to all production on the site: vegetable oils, oilseed meals, biodiesel and vegetable glycerin.
A partnership agreement focused on employment
Inauguration of the new factory has also provided Avril with an opportunity to commit to the professional integration of young people and vulnerable members of society.
A partnership agreement with the Ministry for Agriculture, the Food Industry and Forestry and the Ministry for Towns, Youth and Sport was thus signed in the context of the "Enterprise and Neighborhoods" Charter. This notably concerns access to training and employment for young people distanced from the employment market who come not only from urban areas but also from the rural communities that are home to most of Avril's activities.
The high points of this agreement concern:
- An increase between 2013 and 2018 in the number of people in alternance training hosted by Avril. The Group hosted 71 such trainees in 2013 (professional training contracts and apprentices) and 153 in 2014. The goal for 2018 is that 400 young people will be involved in such training programs.
- Specific actions to target young people from rural areas, modeled on the Sanders Sales School - the first school-enterprise partnership launched in 2010 - which favors the access of young people to training as livestock advisers.
- Avril's commitment to be employing at least 6% of disabled people (or the legal threshold) in all the Group's companies, both in France and other countries, by 2018.
- The pursuit and extension of the Group's partnership with occupational integration associations such as Job dans la ville and Nos quartiers ont des talents.
- Participation of the Group in sessions to provide support in compiling resumes and preparing job interviews.
- The hosting of attachments to enable high school students (at the end of their college education in France) from disadvantaged backgrounds to discover the world of work.
"The unfailing support for the future of different French agricultural sectors that underpinned the creation of Avril also involves the employment, training, qualification and integration of young people from rural areas", explained Philippe LAMBLIN, Avril's Human Resources Vice-President. "These are essential levers for transmission to future generations of the skills and know-how of our national sectors, and the preservation and reputation of their excellence."
An Avril Group subsidiary, Lesieur, a centenarian French company, produces and sells a full range of vegetable oils, sauces and condiments. The company has become a reference for both the general public and professionals (in both the restaurant industry and health), based on oil brands such as Lesieur, Puget, ISIO 4, Frial, Fleur de Colza, and through its offer of a large portfolio of innovative products focused on several specific areas: taste, quality, nutrition and respect for the environment.
An Avril Group subsidiary, Saipol produces and sells in France refined vegetable oils for human foods, protein-rich oilseed meals for animal feeds, biodiesel under the Diester® brand (which is incorporated at a rate of 7-8% in the diesel used by all such vehicles in France), and vegetable glycerin used for numerous industrial applications.
About the Avril Group:
Set up in 1983 at the initiative of French farmers in order to assure the future of the vegetable oil and proteins sector, Avril has become a major industrial and financial group that is developing in France and internationally.
Present in sectors as diverse as human foods and animal feeds, renewable energies and chemistry, Avril owns a portfolio of strong brands that are leaders in their markets: Diester®, Sanders, Lesieur, Puget, Matines, Bunica, Taous, etc.
In more than 30 years, the Group has changed in size but its purpose has remained the same: to create sustainable value in the vegetable oils and proteins sector while contributing to better foods for humans and preservation of the planet.
To fulfil its mission, Avril draws strength from its industrial activities organised around plant production and animal production, and from its financial arm, which operates through Sofiprotéol, its finance and development company.
In 2014, the Avril Group achieved turnover worth €6.5 billion. It counts 7200 employees working in 22 countries.
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Tom DORON | Avril Group
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