The cooperative agricultural model has a positive and significant impact on the local economy of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as shown by the TRACE program conducted by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Agricultural Cooperation and Vertigo Lab over the year 2019. The objective of the program was to evaluate the global socio-economic impact of agricultural cooperatives on the region. Nouvelle-Aquitaine is Europe’s leading agricultural region in Europe, with 83,000 farms and 4 million hectares of production. Nine committed cooperatives, representative of the diversity of the region’s productions, participated in the program.
One of the participating cooperatives is the Perlim-Meylim alliance. With a volume of 40,000 tons, it represents 50% of the Limousin PDO apples. They are produced at high altitude by 40 producers over 800 ha of orchards with the High Environmental Value certification. “We participated in this study in order to know more about our socio-economic impact. For us, it is a very important subject which corresponds perfectly to our commitment to the CSR approach (Corporate Social Responsibility),” according to Béatrice Chauffaile and Jessica Roussel of Perlim-Meylim.
For Perlim-Meylim, the TRACE project report certifies its major role in local economic development, especially with regard to the preservation and creation of jobs in rural areas. “The agricultural sector remains a low-automation, labor-intensive sector,” explains Béatrice. “The most surprising result for us was that, compared to other sectors, the agricultural cooperative is among the 5% of companies with the highest revenue multiplier effect within 64 sectors. Besides preserving jobs, the cooperatives also buy more locally. The agricultural sector remains a true pillar of the regional economy.”
Figure 1: Multiplier effect of cooperatives
Figure 2: socio-economic impact of Perlim
Figure 3: socio-economic impact of Meylim
In addition to assessing the socio-economic impact, another objective of TRACE is to identify and promote the good practices of the cooperatives regarding regional development. “TRACE values the fact that we are a sector that is able to innovate. Some examples include the replacement of plastic packaging with 100%-cardboard recycled packaging and the commitment to CSR or HEV approaches. We always strive to meet societal expectations.”
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