Press release
Tuesday, 8 March, 2022 - 10:00

VIVESCIA Group joins forces with Banques Alimentaires to help fight food poverty across the Cooperative’s territory

VIVESCIA Group and Fédération Française des Banques Alimentaires, the French food bank federation, came together at the 2022 Paris International Agricultural Show to seal a three-year partnership to supply people experiencing food poverty within the VIVESCIA Cooperative’s territory with all the Francine flour they need, through food banks in the Marne, Aube, Ardennes, Meuse and Haute Marne departments. 

VIVESCIA - Banques alimentaires

Christoph Büren, President of VIVESCIA, and Claude Baland, President of the French food bank federation, sign the partnership agreement at the Paris International Agricultural Show

A logical next step after several concrete initiatives in 2020 and 2021 

During the Covid-19 crisis, VIVESCIA was acutely aware of the difficulties the first lockdown caused for the most vulnerable people in society, and wanted to help those struggling within its territory by donating Francine flour. In total, more than eight tonnes of Francine flour was distributed through charities right across the Cooperative’s territory, much of it via the Marne food bank.

VIVESCIA also worked with the charity “Les Agriculteurs ont du cœur !” at the 2021 Châlons-en-Champagne Fair to help food banks meet increasing demand by collecting pledges of wheat from its member-farmers. Thanks to this initiative, VIVESCIA Cooperative and its milling company, Grands Moulins de Paris, working through its Reims site, were able to donate 11,000 bags of Francine flour to the Marne food bank. 

Given the success of these initiatives and mindful of the demands on food banks, VIVESCIA Group wanted to get more involved by turning the generous contributions of its member-farmers and businesses into a long-term commitment and extending their work to other departments within the Cooperative’s territory.

 

VIVESCIA members and staff swing into action to support regional food banks

 “It’s all about getting a balanced diet,” said Claude Baland, President of the French food bank federation. “Flour is a staple – it’s one of the first products the families we serve ask for. And this flour will come from the area where they live. It’s a great example of local people supporting one another.” 

Christoph Büren, President of VIVESCIA Group, said, “This partnership is a concrete example of the Group’s cooperative spirit and the sense of community, solidarity and responsibility that it has shared with its staff and the 10,000 member-farmers that own the VIVESCIA Group throughout its 100-year history. It demonstrates the bond we have with our regions and the people that live in them.”

Set to run for three years, the partnership will build on the momentum of the support that began in 2021. The annual goal for farmers and VIVESCIA staff is to collect 70 tonnes of wheat so they can distribute 50 tonnes of flour – in the form of 50,000 bags of Francine flour – to food banks in the Marne, Ardennes, Aube, Haute-Marne and Meuse departments. These donations will cover the entire annual flour requirements of these food banks in each of the departments. This highly generous commitment by the entire VIVESCIA community will meet a crucial need: grain products form an essential part of a balanced diet and account for 29% of the food distributed by the Banques Alimentaires network. The partnership will take the network one step closer to its goal of making sure the food it distributes is not only varied and of high quality, but also local!