French urban aquaponic farms Les Nouvelles Fermes produces vegetables, herbs, and fish through aquaponics, using 10 times less water and 4 times less energy compared to traditional agriculture. Their goal is to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and offer a more sustainable production alternative with environmentally friendly farming techniques.
"We launched our first experimental farm in Lormont, in the city of Bordeaux, back in 2019. A city with around 1 million inhabitants, with a fairly average revenue population, which represents a high potential market. Land availability also makes Bordeaux way more attractive than, for example, Paris. Eventually, we wanted to set our farm as close as possible to the city center to make sure we can decarbonize our deliveries," says company founder Thomas Boisserie.
Les Nouvelles Fermes' founders in the greenhouse. Photo credit to Sarah Arnould.
In 2021, the socially impactful company raised €2 million to build one of the largest aquaponics farms in Europe. Located in Mérignac, also in Bordeaux, the farm spans an area of 5,000 square meters and already generates a significant annual production of vegetables and fish.
"After different tests with various crops and varieties, lettuce and leafy greens have become part of our best sellers list. Rainbow trout is the most consumed freshwater fish in France and is therefore also our focus point. Fish farming also allows us to reduce our fertilizer dependence by 90%," Thomas concludes.
A total of 60 tons of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, cut and live young shoots, and 12 tons of rainbow trout are produced annually.
Greenhouse in Mérignac. Photo credit to Sarah Arnould.
The company has the ambition to expand this farm model to the major cities in France and hire 250 positions by 2028.