The Avril group and the "Société de Projet Industriel" (SPI) fund, managed by Bpifrance, join forces to invest €45 M in developing a new rapeseed-based vegetable protein industry.
As part of an ambitious industrial project to create a new sector dedicated to rapeseed protein for human consumption, the food group Avril has been joined by the SPI fund, operated on behalf of the French State by Bpifrance and financed by the government's Future Investment Programme (Programme d’investissements d’avenir - PIA) and France Relance. The two stakeholders have announced a joint investment to create Prolein, a company dedicated to building a rapeseed preparation and pressing unit, the first step of the process developed with Royal DSM for the extraction and production of rapeseed proteins for human consumption.
This new Prolein unit will be located at the former industrial site of Saipol in Dieppe (Seine-Maritime) near the Olatein unit, in which Prolein has acquired a stake.
Dieppe (Seine-Maritime), 30 March 2021 – Rich in nutritional and functional qualities, proteins from rapeseed are today mainly used in animal feed. Their qualities pave the way for numerous applications in human food, whose full potential is not being realised as things currently stand.
With this in mind, the Avril group and Royal DSM announced in July 2020 the creation of an industrial partnership, Olatein, to produce a non-GMO vegetable protein extracted from rapeseed for human consumption. Its first production facility, the only one of its kind in the world, will be commissioned in Dieppe in early 2022.
The Avril group and the SPI fund, managed by Bpifrance, are investing €45 M to:
- create a new industrial unit to supply the raw material needed to extract the rapeseed protein
- contribute to the joint project with DSM by acquiring a stake in Olatein
Called Prolein, this new production unit dedicated to crushing (pressing) rapeseed will produce the raw material for Olatein and vegetable oils. Operational from early 2022, Prolein is also located at the Dieppe site.
Through this operation, the SPI fund, which aims to support innovative industrial projects that offer the greatest potential for activity and employment, is joining forces with the Avril group to promote the creation in France of a new sector of the future, a world first. This is the second joint investment between the SPI fund and the Avril group after the creation of the Evertree company in 2016, which uses vegetable proteins as a natural glue in the wood panel industry to replace synthetic products derived from fossil carbon, which emit high levels of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC).
"Prolein is the culmination of an ambitious project, the result of research into seeds and agricultural practices including the development of new technologies for extracting vegetable oils and proteins," says Paul-Joël Derian, President of Prolein and Vice President for Innovation, Research and Sustainable Development at the Avril group.."We are delighted with the partnership with the SPI/BPI France fund stakeholders to make this an industrial reality. Our joint investment makes sense in the context of new consumer demand and France's desire to move towards protein sovereignty. We are continuing with our mission, guaranteeing innovative and more financially rewarding end markets for the rapeseed sector."
Fabien Brenneval, Investment Director of Bpifrance's SPI fund, said: "We are delighted to invest alongside a long-standing partner, the Avril group, and to be involved in this project. By developing a new market for rapeseed for human consumption, Prolein and Olatein are responding to the agricultural industry's concern for renewal. Furthermore, the re-industrialisation of the former Saipol site in Dieppe, the prospect of creating some fifty direct jobs, and the involvement in the project of DSM, a leading European player contributing its rapeseed protein extraction technology, are all factors that fit in perfectly with the purpose of the SPI fund."
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About the Avril group
Founded in 1983 at the initiative of farmers in order to assure long-term markets for French products, Avril is the leading industrial and finance actor in the French oilseeds and vegetable proteins sector. Present in France and internationally in sectors as diverse as human foods, animal nutrition and expertise, renewable energies and chemistry, the Avril group draws strength from its portfolio of strong brands that are leaders in their markets: Diester®, Sanders, Lesieur, Puget, Matines, Bunica or Taous, etc. In line with its original mission to create sustainable value for the oils and proteins sectors, thus contributing to better foods for humans and preservation of the planet, Avril operates in two complementary areas: industrial activities organized around plant and livestock sectors, and investment activities managed by its subsidiary, Sofiprotéol. In 2019, the Avril group achieved turnover worth €5.8 billion. Present in 19 countries, it employs nearly 7600 people spread between 83 industrial sites throughout the world. More information: groupeavril.com | Twitter @Avril_Group | Linkedin Avril
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extrafinancial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…). For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr - Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance - @BpifrancePresse