The development of a natural, sustainable alcohol sector in France

Project partners

Pour une Agriculture Du Vivant (PADV)

Location of project

France

Commodity

Sugar beet

Type of Intervention

Agroecology

Project description

CHANEL’s commitment is the result of work initiated in 2016 by carrying out Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) of the raw materials used in its fragrances. The findings of these studies highlighted the environmental impact of cultural practices in the fragrance value chain, including chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

On the strength of this observation, CHANEL has committed to a major agroecological program to meet the economic, ecological, climatic and social challenges of the sector.

The program can be divided into three complementary endeavours:

  • Testing of alternative solutions to prevent biological threats with a start-up that develops solutions based on technology and mathematics to gradually reduce the use of plant protection products.
  • Development of an organic sugar beet sector by modelling the fertilization of organic beet cultivation, developing a mechanical weeding technique, and agronomic trials in small parcels.
  • Structuring an agroecological sector for sugar beets through “Pour une Agriculture Du Vivant” association membership.

Impacts

The program has many co-benefits. These include:

  • Reducing pollution and land degradation;
  • Improving soil fertility;
  • Reducing the impacts on biodiversity, fauna and flora (fight against the extinction of certain insect species, including pollinators, impact on the reproductive capacities of certain species);
  • Reducing GHG emissions related to the manufacture and application of chemical inputs;
  • Strengthening the resilience capacities of agricultural sectors;
  • Reducing groundwater and surface water pollution through less pesticide use;
  • Reducing air pollution through the reduction of chemical inputs.

In May 2019, 460 ha of organic beets were planted by 53 certified or “in conversion” farmers. The methods and tools developed benefit the entire value chain, including conventional crops, which can also use some of the proposed solutions such as mechanical weeding.

SDGs