The agri-food and agri-tech sectors
in the Basque Country

Picto Agritech and agrotech

Basque gastronomy has strong and historic roots and food has always been grown, raised and processed in the area. As a result, the agri-food sector has seen heavy investment over the years. Predominantly located in inland regions, the agri-food sector is particularly well represented by the meat, dairy, confectionery and fish industries. Today, the Basque Country is turning to new technologies to support agri-tech companies.

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The agri-food and agri-tech sectors in the basque country

In the Basque Country, the agri-food industry represents 3,000 jobs in more than 100 companies. For over 10 years, the Uztartu cluster has been mobilizing all players in the Basque agrifood industry to:

    • Forge collaborative projects between different producers, breeders and growers
    • Encourage short circuits
    • Optimize processing
    • Produce eco-designed packaging
    • Contribute to a regional brand
    • Make agri-food a real sector of the future
    • Make sustainable development a key strategic focus
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Maison Agour and numerous other companies symbolize the influence of Basque gastronomy on a national and European scale. They produce and market charcuterie, cheese and grocery products, made in local production sites such as the artisanal cheese factory and business incubator in Hélette.

BASQUE INVEST, a business location service, helps companies in the agri-tech sectors to set up, locate and develop their business in the Basque Country.

Agri-tech in the basque country, serving innovation in the agricultural sector

Agri-tech, or agtech, or technological agriculture, is an industry that integrates cutting-edge technologies into the agricultural sector to improve efficiency, sustainability and productivity. This includes the use of sensors, drones, robots, artificial intelligence and data analysis to optimize agricultural processes such as crop management, irrigation, fertilization and weather monitoring.

Its aim is to respond to growing challenges concerning food, farmers’ incomes, environmental impact and pressures on agricultural resources. According to Jérôme Le Roy, President of Ferme Digitale (an association bringing together 120 companies in the sector in France), “Agriculture is faced with problems of income, attractiveness, and reconciling performance with respect for the environment. We have answers to all these questions.”

With its 120 active members, La Ferme Digitale represents the most  innovative companies in the agricultural sector. Since 2016, it has been committed to promoting and supporting innovations aimed at making agriculture more sustainable, efficient and socially responsible.

France now leads the way in several key sectors, such as data processing, insects, agricultural robotics, biological inputs and market platforms. This dynamic is also reflected in the sector’s investments, with a significant increase in fundraising. In 2022, these investments reached over €490 million, of which €211.5 million was raised by La Ferme Digitale member start-ups, compared with just €37 million five years ago. This development bears witness to the confidence of investors and markets, a crucial factor in supporting the agricultural sector.

Since the beginning of 2023, more than €25 million have been raised by six other start-ups, setting a cumulative record for the sector. This steady growth in investment in FoodTech in France contrasts with the decline observed at global and European level in 2022. This underlines the exceptional dynamism of the French ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly attractive and structured.

In our region, several companies are involved in agri-tech, such as Hyperplan. The company was present at the Salon International de l’Agriculture 2024, along with a dozen other companies from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, such as Landes-based Avec Naturel, which develops cellulose-based cushioning products for businesses.

Based in Bidart and led by its three co-founders, Hyperplan has just finalized a €4.1 million fundraising round. The aim of this operation is to support the expansion of Hyperplan’s platform – a crop monitoring platform that secures the agri-food chain – over the next two years. Already fully operational for cereals and oilseeds, by the end of March it will be extended to the whole of Europe, including Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. At the same time, Hyperplan is working on extending its technology to vegetables, with the launch of the commercial phase scheduled for the end of the first quarter. Their aim is to consolidate a significant presence in Europe and explore new opportunities on another continent, depending on market trends and demands. Great prospects in a buoyant market, for this fine agritech company in the Basque Country!

 

 

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