Normandy is a French region located in the North-West of France. It has a population of 3.3 million inhabitants for a surface of 29.906 km², with a population density of 110 inhabitants/km². In 2015, the regional gross domestic product (GDP) was about 90.4 billion €. The Normandy region gathers two former French regions which were merged in 2015: the former “Upper-Normandy”, characterised by very strong industrial capacities (including Le Havre – one of the biggest French harbours), and “Lower-Normandy”, which remains both an agricultural and manufacturing region.
The agro-food industry is a central driver of Normandy’s regional economic activities. The agricultural sector is strong, notably for its milk production (3rd French region), butter production (1st French region), breeding horses (1st French region) as well as aquaculture and in particular oyster-farming with 21% of the national production in 2011. “Secure, healthy and sustainable resources and food” is one of the key priorities of its Smart Specialisation Strategy. As an illustration, in2015, the European Investment Bank provided €55 million loan to “Les maitreslaitiers du Cotentin” to build a new production unit in a dairy production plant. Cotentinis one of the most modern factories in Europe. This new production unit financed by the Investment Plan will allow the agricultural cooperative to produce infant milk and UHT milk as well as to upgrade the production of other goods such as cream and butter.
Moreover, some competitiveness clusters related to the agro-food sector are active in Normandy: Valorial (agro-food innovation), TES (e-secure transactions, which has recently created a department dedicated to connected agriculture), Hippolia (dedicated to horse industry), Novalog specialized on logistic issues. Regarding implementation of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability, Normandy Region has launched four calls for the last three years. Twenty operational groups were selected in various thematic areas including changing agricultural practices,agricultural productivity and sustainability, digital agriculture, local food systems and local marketsbringing added value to farmers.
The Normandy regional council is the competent authority to coordinate the policy measures from European, national, regional and infra-regional levels. As such, it is also the managing authority in charge of the European Structural and Investment Funds, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The Normandy regional council is represented in European networks (including ERIAFF) via a Brussels-based office. This office is in contact with the Agriculture and Fishing department of the Normandy regional council as well as with the regional agricultural chamber of Normandy.
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