France: Les Nouvelles Fermes raises €2 million to build large aquaponic farm

Les Nouvelles Fermes, a Bordeaux-based startup, has announced that it has raised €2 million to build one of the largest urban aquaponics farms in Europe. In 2019, the 5 founders launched “Pauline”, their experimental farm located in Lormont in the Bordeaux area, which produces 20 tons of fresh vegetables and 2 tons of rainbow trout per year. The founders have now decided to scale up by launching “Odette”, a 5000 m² urban farm, which will employ up to 17 people.

This project, which will be launched at the end of 2021 in the Bordeaux metropolitan area, was made possible thanks to the support of the regional investment fund IRDI, the commitment of business angels, the Banque des Territoires, Crédit Agricole Aquitaine and the CIC. This first round of investment was carried out with the support of the Agence de Développement et d’Innovation de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

“There is no future without profitability. This is why we have been working since 2019 to come up with a model that can be duplicated on a larger scale and is very economical in terms of water and energy,” said Thomas Boisserie, Co-founder and President of Les Nouvelles Fermes.

While agriculture was once closely linked to cities with large market gardens, today’s farmers are often far away from consumer centers and urban centers. A tomato, even within one country, travels an average of 1,500km to reach our plates. In environmental terms, agriculture is now responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Feeding the population is vital, and this sector needs to be revamped to ensure its mission is fulfilled effectively while taking into account current and future environmental issues.

With this new farm, the objectives are clear: to validate an operating model and then reproduce it in the immediate vicinity of the major urban centers in France and Europe, with the possibility to restore abandoned land, while creating agricultural occupations. With this in mind, Les Nouvelles Fermes has already signed a strategic partnership with the company “Orange” in order to develop the technological model that will be deployed on its future farms.

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