Created in 2017, Elior Group Solidarities supports projects that have an impact on the most vulnerable populations in the areas of nutrition, education and employment. The association adds a fourth area of intervention; the environment. Its aim is also to support the actions of recognized associative or institutional players that are committed to ecological transition.
Agroecology makes it possible to reintroduce diversity into agricultural production systems and to restore a diversified landscape mosaic. These practices help reduce pressure on the environment (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, decrease in the use of chemicals, etc.), and strengthen the role of biodiversity as a factor of production. Agroecology thus makes it possible to set up an agricultural system that is more respectful of the environment, and to reduce CO2 emissions.
“The french players in agroecology work every day to implement new agricultural practices that are more respectful of nature and its diversity. Supporting these projects is a concrete way of helping to deeply reinvent our modes of production and consumption over the long term. This is why we are looking to support responsible players who have long-term positive effects on our food ", explains Philippe Guillemot, CEO of Elior Group.
Elior Group Solidarities is supporting two projects having a concrete impact on French soils:
- The project "Bees and agriculture: agroforestry territories for bee-compatible agricultural practices"
Between 2020 and 2023, the French Agroforestry Association (l’Association Française d’Agroforesterie) is carrying out a project whose stake is to support the transition of an agricultural region in the Hautes-Pyrénées towards the reconstruction of a landscape network permitting a more sustainable, profitable and respectful of pollinators agriculture, which are essential for maintaining natural ecosystem balance and ensuring agricultural yield. All around the world, entire populations of bees and other pollinators are on the decline. This agroforestry approach allows to propose a global solution that gets to the root of the problem whilst supporting productive and resilient beekeeping into the country.
“From earthworm to bee… or in other words… from soil to landscape”, the Association Française d'Agroforesterie (the French Association of Agroforestry) is working to support territories towards achieving a global agroecology model, making it possible to reconnect agricultural productivity and the sustainable management of natural resources. This pilot project - which brings together farmers, beekeepers, stakeholders, communities and citizens - relies on the technical expertise and group facilitation in direct connection with practitioner networks for more than 10 years in the four corners of France” explains Fabien Balaguer, Chairman of the Association Française d'Agroforesterie.
- The "Agriculture Régénératrice de la Bulle Verte” (Green Bubble Regenerative Agriculture) project: to protect the water resource of the Badoit impluvium
Le Centre de Développement de l’Agroécologie (the Center for the Development of Agroecology), is supporting around twenty farmers until end-2022 in their quest to achieve a form of farming that protects the water resource of the Badoit impluvium located near Saint Galmier (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes). The objectives of the project are the following: reducing inputs (glyphosate, fertilizers, tillage), improving carbon storage in soils, and enhancing the profitability and autonomy of farms.
“The Agroecology Development Center (CDA) has been supporting players in the agricultural sector for eight years in the agroecological transition in France and in Europe. Faced with the challenges posed by climate change, we offer our expertise to farmers to develop a living agriculture that is respectful of the soil and biodiversity. From field to fork, we develop quality supply chains with numerous partners, so as to offer producers fair remuneration and citizens, healthy food,” underlines Florian Baralon, co-chairman of CDA.
On the scale of their respective territories, the two associations are therefore supporting farmers and breeders in developing their production and breeding methods. Further out, Elior's ambition will be to offer local and responsible products generated by these projects in the Group's canteens located in the same regions. This is a way to increase the percentage of supplies sourced locally and to raise guests’ awareness to environmental issues while promoting sustainable agricultural practices and creating links with local players.