Home Industries Food & Drinks ARVALIS

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ARVALIS - Institut du végétal

3 rue Joseph et Marie Hackin 75016 Paris France
+33 1 44311000 +33 1 44311010

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ARVALIS - Institut du végétal

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ARVALIS - Institut du végétal

Farming smarter


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It was agriculture which long ago allowed people to abandon their migratory life and settle down. But since the first humans put seeds into the ground, much has changed. Science and technology have played a major role in this area of business for a long time. ARVALIS is a French institute for farmers who grow grain, potatoes and corn. As a tool for farmers to increase productivity and competitiveness, the nonprofit company covers the entire chain of needs.

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“ARVALIS is a company under private law,” explains CEO Jacques Mathieu. “Similar to a nonprofit society, our corporate goal is not the maximization of profits. We are funded by two sources, partly through the contributions of cooperatives and federations and partly with the help of specific private sector jobs in the industry.”

Every year, the institute has a turnover of 50 million EUR, 15% of which is realized through private contracts. These private offerings include experiments and research projects for the industry and whose results are only available to the client, training, lectures and seminars, tools for decision-making like satellite images, publications in the media and expert reports.

“Every year we invest six million EUR in new equipment and technologies,” Mr. Mathieu adds. ARVALIS was founded in 1960 as part of a state initiative to help farm-ers in France. “A single farmer alone does not have the financial resources to commission a study or new research,” Mr. Mathieu points out. “The entire profession does, though. The results of our work benefit everyone, and we conform with the needs of our customers.”

To be helpful for everyone, 400 employees work at 27 locations in France. “This is necessary for the consideration of the different soil characteristics, climate zones and so on,” explains Mr. Mathieu. “This way, the results are adjusted to nature.”

The cooperatives give ARVALIS a standing order for research. “In France, there are currently 350,000 farmers in cultivation,” clarifies Mr. Mathieu. “70 % of them fall into our in our area of responsibilities, which includes potatoes, corn, grain and animal bedding. “

But not only the farmers are among the customers of the institute. The food processing industry and equipment manufacturers benefit from its work, too. Indirectly, it is an asset to the entire population. “Agriculture is a growth market,” Mr. Mathieu points out. “There is steady and increasing demand due to the every-growing world population.”

What does not increase at the same rate are the areas available for cultivation. On the contrary, the agricultural area is gradually reduced by urbanization. That is why the guiding principle of ARVALIS is to increase production under the condition of cultivation improvement.

“Many say that this is impossible and that every increase in the amount is always done at the expense of quality or the environment,” Mr. Mathieu discloses. “We say that it does not have to be the case. An example: There is a disease in potatoes that can destroy an entire crop. We inform our subscribers every morning by SMS how great the danger of an outbreak of the disease is on that particular day. This way they only have to use preventive means if there really is a risk. This approach not only saves money for the farmer, but also protects the environment. The performance is enhanced by the benefits of technology.”

Because of these kinds of considerations, ARVALIS monitors one million hectares of land via satellite. Also in other aspects, the environment plays an important role in the research of the institute, for example when with regard to ensuring the water quality despite fertilization.

“Anyone who uses modern means of technology and researches intelligently can implement the guiding principle in real life,” Mr. Mathieu emphasizes. “Innovation is therefore an answer we definitely count on.”

Related Keywords


Food Processing Industry

Soil Characteristics





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