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Agri-Food Industry (general information)

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Agri-food: the leading industrial sector
20,737 salaried workers, representing 23% of total industrial employment
Dairy industry: one of Normandy's flagships
Meat - another leading sector
Diversified industry: cider, ready-to-use lettuce, convenience foods… A constantly innovating sector

The agri-food industry is Normandy's first industrial sector employing a total of 20,737 salaried workers, i.e. one out of five industrial workers. In 2010: 159 businesses with 20 employees or more. 171 establishments, employing from 1 to 19 salaried workers.

The dairy sector is the regional agri-food industry's flagship. From 1999 to 2008, the region's employment figures rose by 4.5%, ranking in tenth position among all French regions. Normandy's agri-food industry focuses essentially on processing locally produced raw materials (milk and meat). In 2009, companies from the dairy sector employing over 20 salaried workers generated 40% of Normandy's agri-food industry's added value. An industry that has, for a long time, been renowned for its milk, butter, cream and cheese production, which, today, is essentially ensured by major groups such as Lactalis, Bongrain, Danone and Nestlé. The dairy industry remains the region's leading employer with 5,039 jobs. There are also major cooperatives such as « Maîtres laitiers du Cotentin » reuniting over a thousand milk producers. Five products awarded with AOC labels of origin (Camembert de Normandie, Pont L’Evêque and Livarot cheeses, Beurre d’Isigny butter, Crème d’Isigny cream) adequately reward the dairy industry's efforts in terms of quality.

The meat sector is the second-ranking activity within Normandy's agri-food industry. Thanks to numerous companies with over twenty salaried workers, the sector generates a quarter of the agri-food industry's added value. The success of Charal, based in Flers (frozen foods) is a perfect illustration. The meat industry employs 5,039 salaried workers (excluding small-scale delicatessen butchers). Alongside small and medium-sized companies specialising in transformation and processing, the region's abattoirs remain, nevertheless, its leading employers. Three of them employ over 500 salaried workers throughout Normandy. Alongside the meat and dairy sectors, Normandy's traditional cider-based production continues to thrive, but the region's agri-food industry is striving to diversify in other directions: hence the success of ready-to-use lettuce (prepared in Lessay under the brand name Florette); the seafood and convenience food sector (Alliance Océane based in Carentan and Verson, and Cofa-FRIAL in Saint-Martin-des-Entrées); bread, patisserie, pasta (Stefano Toselli in Mézidon-Canon, Blini SA in Troarn, Tartefrais in Falaise); pet food production (La Normandise in Vire).

The agri-food industry is also the region's main exporter. In 2009, export sales represented 921 million Euros, i.e. 27% of the region's total exportation. Europe remains Normandy's agri-food industry's leading client.

- Danone, via its subsidiary Stonylield located in Molay-Littry
- LNUF (Lactalis Nestlé Ultra Frais) in Lisieux: production plant specialising in fresh flavoured cheeses (Nestlé petit gourmand, Yoco)
- Soparind-Bongrain group: under the brand names Elle & Vire and Cœur de Lion
- Alliance - Océane (a subsidiary of the Soparind-Bongrain group): under the brand names Coraya and Cap Océan
- AGRIAL group – among its subsidiaries: Bigard Socopa Viandes: France's leading beef transformation and processing company; ready-to-use vegetables (under the brand name Florette); CCLF (Cidrerie du Calvados La Fermière): France's leading apple processing company
- Terrena cooperative group, whose subsidiaries Soviba, Selvi and Covial, are the leaders in the organic sector
- SNV (LDC group): poultry slaughtering and transformation
- La Martiniquaise group (Busnel and Préaux distilleries): leader in the calvados market