New global challenge is to feed a population which should reach 9 billion inhabitants in 2050. To contribute to food safety is a major stake for the agriculture and the agrifood, in qualitative as in quantitative terms.
Historic French banking leader in agriculture and agrifood, Crédit Agricole wants to become the reference bank of agrifood and a key player of the food safety in Europe by serving all players of the value chain: production, trade, processing and retail.
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Pleinchamp forecasts local weather with pinpoint radar images
Agricultural information website Pleinchamp.com is adding even more value with its local weather forecasting service. It now offers high-resolution radar images scaled down to individual plots of land and updated every five minutes. The images are especially valuable for keeping track of rain patterns and intensity. They are now refined to let viewers zoom to individual fields (1x1 km instead of the former 3x3 km). Images are now updated every five minutes (instead of every 15 minutes as in the past), for observations of the past two hours as well as forecasts for the next two hours.
Lightning-shaped icons on the map show lightning strikes during the observation period. Storms often bring high winds and even hail, so the data are essential for Pleinchamp’s audience of farmers and those in related areas, including engineers, technicians at agricultural organisations, and students at agricultural colleges. Among them are 220,000 Crédit Agricole customers, who enjoy direct access to professional services at pleinchamp.com through their Crédit Agricole service account.
Crédit Agricole Assurances bolsters its position with farmers
Starting today, a new, themed investment vehicle designed for agribusiness is being sold via Floriagri, Predica’s life insurance contract for farmers. This innovation gives farmers a contract designed specifically for them. Floriagri is the life insurance market’s first-ever policy targeting farmers as a socioeconomic category.
The offer was launched in 2010 and has been a big hit commercially, with 50,000 subscribers.
Two years after its launch, Floriagri is breaking new ground and strengthening its positioning with the farm economy. The contract already offered a farming-themed investment fund (Amundi Funds Equity Global Agriculture), and it now boasts another one: DWS Invest – Global Agribusiness. The new vehicle was selected in cooperation with Amundi Multigestion, and provides a way to invest globally in shares of agribusiness companies and other firms that derive most of their earnings from agriculture.
The new product aims to increase the number of agriculture-based investments that Floriagri can offer to farmers in a contract that is based on what they know best.
Catherine Ravet-Bastide, head of Products at Predica, explains, “We know that in the next few decades, we must produce more food than in the last thousand years combined. Farmers profoundly understand the problems and challenges of agribusiness. A vehicle based on agriculture is meaningful to them. They can take the measure of the opportunities in this investment universe”.
With this contract, the first of its kind on the market, Predica is raising its profile with the agricultural world and making strides in one of the Group project’s areas of excellence.
SIAL 2012 showcases agrifood, one of Crédit Agricole’s areas of excellence
Speaking at SIAL-The Global Food Marketplace, François Moury, Head of Agrifood at Crédit Agricole, said “We are attending this event to confirm our leadership in the agrifood sector. Along with agriculture, agrifood is one of the four areas of excellence in the Group Project. Intended for food industry professionals, the two-yearly SIAL exhibition ran from 21 to 25 October 2012 at the Paris Nord Villepinte convention centre, attracting some 6,000 exhibitors. Crédit Agricole was the only bank present.
More than 300 people, including staff from the Regional Banks, BPI, Sodica, CACIB, LCL and Crédit Agricole S.A., as well as their customers and institutional investors, attended a conference on 23 October on the theme of “Development strategies for agrifood firms”. Among the speakers from outside the Group were representatives from the consultancy Solving Efeso and LESMA (the Audencia laboratory for research into markets and strategies for agrifood products) as well as three companies: Lactalis, Valade and Natais. Crédit Agricole S.A. Deputy CEO Bruno de Laage gave the closing address at this landmark event for Crédit Agricole at SIAL, in the presence of Agrifood Minister Guillaume Garot.
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Crédit Agricole opens the European private placement market with Bonduelle
Back in July, the Nord de France Regional Bank arranged a new, conventional bank financing for the Bonduelle group. This week, on 10 September, Bonduelle launched a fixed-income private placement on the European market, the first-ever programme of this type for an unrated French mid cap.
The inaugural €145 million, 6.5-year bond issue (due March 2019) is a milestone for the fledgling European private placement market, along the lines of the USA’s. The new market will enable mid cap firms to raise funding on European capital markets without the constraints of issue size and credit ratings needed for access to the publicly traded bond market.
The issue was initially planned for €100 million. But with Crédit Agricole Assurances involved in the early stages as lead investor and amid strong demand from Europe’s institutional investors, it was expanded to €145 million.
The issue reflects exemplary cooperation among several Crédit Agricole Group entities. Crédit Agricole Nord de France managed the business relationship with Bonduelle; Crédit Agricole Assurances was lead investor as part of its regional projects; Amundi was delegated asset manager; and Crédit Agricole CIB served as arranger.