AREA (Regional Association of Food Companies of the Occitania Region) is an active network made up of more than 300 agro-food companies funded by the Region, the French State and Europe. The richness of this network is found in the diversity of the companies represented: all sizes and all trades related to the food industry. Agrifood companies represent up to 55% of the sector's workforce in the Occitania region. The challenges of the AREA network are therefore well established in the regional economy.
- Prevent food waste
- Develop local food governance and ensure an environment conducive to effective action
- Promote sustainable food and good nutrition
- Ensure social and economic equity
- Support food production (rural-urban links)
- Support food supply and distribution
In 2010, AREA Occitanie - (Regional Association of Food Companies in the Occitania region) implemented the second edition of the Progress Charter for the Sustainable Development of agrifood companies in Languedoc-Roussillon.
The Progress Charter for the Sustainable Development of agrifood companies proposed by AREA formalizes the commitments of companies for a more sustainable activity. A first version was written in 2007.
This Charter should enable signatory companies to go further in their commitments and to follow more closely the progress made by the group with a view to promoting it among interested parties. In 2011, 46 companies signed the LRIA progress charter.
This charter therefore formalizes the commitment of these companies in a Sustainable Development approach. Below the commitments are summarized in 8 points in order to clarify and consolidate the companies’ approach.
Economy and strategy:
- 1. Ensure the economic sustainability of the company by ensuring consistency with environmental, social and societal commitments
- 2. Engage in a permanent innovation process
Social and social responsibility:
- 3. Promote nutrition / health benefits and guarantee product safety
- 4. Strengthen the links between the company and its territory
- 5. Maintain and develop long-term and rewarding jobs for employees
Sustainable management of resources and environmental impact:
- 6. Reduce direct and indirect consumption of non-renewable natural resources
- 7. Contribute actively to the maintenance and strengthening of animal and plant species,
- 8. Minimize waste and pollutant releases in the natural environment
The signatory companies undertake to carry out actions on the greatest number of themes during the 3 years following the signature. At least 1 action per theme is to be implemented, along with an action plan on the commitments made.
Une analyse des résultats obtenus seront effectués annuellement par un tiers indépendant. La synthèse de ce suivi fera ensuite l’objet d’une communication de la part de l’AREA et de la FFL (Fédération Fruits et Légumes, Occitanie). Par ailleurs, pour formaliser l’évolution de l’entreprise dans son engagement, chaque entreprise signataire s’engage à réaliser un rapport annuel développement durable
An analysis of the results obtained will be carried out annually by an independent third party. The summary of this follow-up will then be the subject of a communication from AREA and the FFL (Federation of Fruit and Vegetables, Occitania). In addition, each signatory company undertakes to produce an annual sustainable development report to formalize how it is developing in its commitment,.
- Engage in permanent innovation
In the SD approach, innovation means that environmental issues, such as eco-design or product end-of-life, are better taken into account and that the consumption of non-renewable resources can be reduced.
Some examples of good practice in action:
- launch of and participation in the “Producers' Train”, a group of 7 companies selling their products jointly,
- creation of an internal jury to taste and develop new products,
- research, addition and / or promotion of a fair trade sector,
- active participation in an eco-design think tank,
- investment in R&D activities contributing to the development of “green” chemistry,
- offer a range of typical Occitanie products and other local products
- Promote nutrition / health benefits and guarantee product safety
Companies active in the food industry have a special role to play through their action on nutrition and health. They must therefore market products which do not contribute to nutritional deficiencies, or which present proven risks for consumers.
Actions, examples of good practice:
- No additives, other than natural ones (flavors, colors). No preservatives
- Reduced amount of salt in products
- Nutrition labeling systemized
- No added sugar, decrease in sugars
- Reduced amount of fat, palm oil.
- Strengthen the links between the company and its territory
To consolidate its territorial roots, the company must aim to intensify its links with local players.
Actions, examples of good practice :
- organize visits for employees to other local companies
- join a local environmental protection association.
Last modification : 21 Apr 2020.