Sector of Excellence: Natural Living

Natural Living in the Sud region: shared values in the French wonderland of tastes, flavors, and fragrances!

The Natural Living sector embraces authenticity and the local cultivation and creation of natural products while facilitating innovation and research to benefit the well-being of everybody and to safeguard the environment. All of this makes the Sud region a global leader for Natural Living.

In the Sud region, Natural Living means:

  • a remarkable biodiversity.
  • a rich pool of resources that ranges from world-renowned cultivation sites to quality finished products that serve the five main markets: quality foods, natural ingredients, nutraceuticals, natural cosmetics & perfumes, and organic controls & natural inputs.
  • an exceptional ecosystem that brings together stakeholders from these fields who share the values of consumer and employee well-being while guaranteeing quality, safety, and traceability for everybody.
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The sector in a few key numbers

There is an entire ecosystem in the Natural Living sector that covers everything from farm to fork, from production to processing to end consumers, and includes companies working in agriculture, food, organic products, and cosmetics. A few important statistics:

#1
region for organic farming
in terms of agricultural land

More than
12 200 jobs
in the Natural Living sector

386
companies
in key parts of the sector

9
competitiveness hubs,
associations, union networks, and clusters

350
training programs
available in the region

€20 billion
in annual turnover

Innovation in the Natural Living sector

The competitiveness clusters and hubs operating in the Sud region’s Natural Living sector feature world-renowned expertise and are key motors for growth and innovation. Thanks to their networks in the region, across France, and around the world, they will be able to assist you with your project and ensure it meets all its goals.

innov alliance

Innov’Alliance is a competitiveness cluster that supports innovation and growth for regional companies in the agricultural, well-being, and natural living sectors. It focuses on sustainable agricultural, advanced agricultural technologies, and more virtuous agricultural production processes.

Innov’Alliance

Logo Aqua Valley

The Aqua-Valley cluster contributes to the economic development of the regional water sector to meet the territory’s health, social, economic, and environmental challenges. The cluster also works to support companies’ growth and job creation.

Aqua-Valley

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INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment) is the leading agricultural research institute in Europe and the second-largest in the world regarding the number of publications in agricultural sciences and plant and animal sciences. INRAE conducts research about healthy and quality food, sustainable agriculture, and protecting and improving the environment. INRAE Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is a research center focused on the agro-ecology of greenhouse and orchard cropping systems and modeling the regionalized impact of climate change on the landscape scale.

INRA

arialogo

ARIA SUD is the regional association of food industries for the Sud region, and it supports the competitiveness of companies, job creation, and the development of new markets. A member of the ANIA (the National Association of Food Industries), ARIA SUD was first launched in 1989 by members of the agri-food industry in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region under the name FRIAA. Today, ARIA SUD is one of the oldest and most respected regional associations in France.

Aria Sud Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azurx

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PRODAROM is a fragrance industry union that operates on the territorial, national, European, and global levels, which allows it to defend, support, and advise its members on a wide range of issues related to the sector. Its presence at these different levels also enables the union to collect and share important information about the perfume industry.

Prodarom | Syndicat National des Fabricants de Produits Aromatiques

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COSMED is the leading network representing small, medium, and large companies in the cosmetics industry in France. The network has 920 member companies representing all aspects of the cosmetics sector, including brands, manufacturers, suppliers of ingredients, development and testing laboratories, consultants, and training centers. Approximately 80% of COSMED’s members are SMEs, and the network is a significant stakeholder in the cosmetics sector.

COSMED

foodinlogo

Food’In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is the regional network of professional organizations dedicated to the overall performance of agri-food companies in the Sud region. The network’s members – CRITT Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, IFRIA, and ARIA Sud – provide efficient and complementary services to meet all the professional needs of the agri-food sector.

FoodIn

IFRIA

IFRIA is a training center for food industry professions that offers a combination of courses and work experience. Created in 1997 by the regional federation of food industries (FRIAA) with the support of the official OPCALIM training body and national professional, IFRIA offers training courses adapted to the needs of companies in the fields of production, quality, research and development, maintenance, and sales.

IFRIA Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

ctcpa

The CTCPA is an industrial technical center whose regional offices are based in Avignon. It supports and trains food industry professionals on issues related to the packaging of their products.

CTCPA

The diverse range of stakeholders involved in the Natural Living strategic sector are contributing to the emergence of large-scale projects across the region. Among the main projects underway:

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NaturaLub

NaturalLub is an economic zone dedicated to agri-food companies and equipment manufacturers for the food industry, with additional space for support companies working in digital technology and services. The zone is home to leading companies in their sector, including Pronatura, AZ Méditerranée, STEF, Sormaf, and Kubota. Natura’Lub welcomes companies with specialties in areas such as biocontrols, natural ingredients, quality foods, nutraceuticals, natural cosmetics, and perfumes.

Learn more (article in French)

France Amande

France Amande is an interprofessional association that aims to structure the development of the almond sector both in the region and on the national level. The foundation of this inter-professional association has been built around the official union of almond growers in Provence (Producteurs d’Amandes de Provence) and the CoopFruit Lubéron cooperative. A significant proportion of the cooperative’s producers could become involved in almond tree planting.

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Cereals, Flour & Bread Project

The creation of the new “Lou Pan d’Ici” baguette results from a unique project involving key local stakeholders: farmers, millers, and artisan bakers. The project’s mission is:

  • to reintroduce a centuries-old crop – soft wheat—to contribute to the diversity of production
  • to contribute to a renewed biodiversity
  • to reduce the amount of fallow or wasteland to preserve our region’s number one asset – the landscapes – and to limit the risk of fire.

The iconic sites

In addition to the diverse array of competitiveness clusters, hubs, and large-scale projects in the Sud region, there are other important stakeholders that foster development and innovation in the Natural Living sector:

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The Agroparc is a technology-oriented hub that fosters excellence in the fields of food and agriculture. The site also provides high value-added technological services as well as B2B services. The Agroparc gives companies access to rich pool of talent and skills thanks to the specialized training, research laboratories, and technical centers that are present on its campus.

Cité de l’innovation – Agroparc

La Cité du Végétal – Valréas is a green extraction platform that also features a business incubator for emerging companies dedicated to the use of plants in the secondary and tertiary markets.

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The Pays de Grasse area is a stronghold for the Natural Living sector with approximately 90% of the major business activities in the area dedicated to luxury goods and cosmetics. The Grasse basin remains the central French industrial hub for the production of raw materials for perfumes and aromas, and it provides half of the total production of aromatic ingredients in France. The Pays de Grasse agglomeration brings together 23 municipalities to create a focused and harmonious approach to professional and personal pursuits. The agglomeration has numerous business parks to welcome companies already present or those interested in setting up in the area. One of these flagship parks, ArômaGrasse, has eight hectares dedicated to companies in the perfumes, flavors, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and biotech sectors.

Pays de Grasse

The European University of Fragrances and Flavors (UESS) is a training center located at the Couvent des Cordeliers in Forcalquier (Alpes de Haute-Provence). The UESS is an educational, research, and promotional center dedicated to aromatic and cosmetic plants and vegetable matter. In addition, it is the only center in France authorized to deliver the official title of “soap maker”.

UESS

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Campus 3A: The Campus 3A brings together training centers, professional and inter-professional organizations, companies, competitiveness clusters, innovation and research centers, and technology transfer centers to foster the conditions necessary for the economic development of the agricultural, agri-food, and food sectors in the territory by improving training and professional integration.

Campus 3A

Cité de la cosmétique: The Cité de la Cosmétique is a business center dedicated to the cosmetics industry in Marseille.

Cité de la Cosmétique

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A network of sites and stakeholders that are essential to the Sud region

This map shows a selection of the organizations, projects, platforms, business parks, and institutions that are vital for the Natural Living sector in the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

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Major companies in the Natural Living Sector

Along with a dynamic research and innovation ecosystem dedicated to the Natural Living sector in the Sud region, a specialized Natural Living Task Force promotes business growth and fosters innovation.

The sector features a dense fabric of quality companies. These companies are located across the region and can be a source of potential growth and partnership opportunities. Here is just a selection of the leading companies driving the Natural Living sector in the region: Agro’Novae, Arkopharma, Koppert, Le Roy René, L’Occitane en Provence, Lou Bio, Mane, Naturex, Melvita, Raiponce, Robertet…

Among the other SMEs, rising stars, and start-ups in the territories are: Algama, Capsum, ID4Feed, Inaturals, Mutatec…

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The Natural Living sector, in their words!

“Our local roots are both very old and very deep. My great-grandfather, Victor, the founder of Mane, was already harvesting flowers and plants in Grasse in the 19th century. He created the company in Le Bar-sur-Loup in 1871, where its headquarters are still located today.”
Jean Mane, President of Mane, Le Bar-sur-Loup

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FFavrot

“It is with great pride and a deep sense of commitment that I accepted the presidency of Epicurium. It is a beautiful association with a dynamic and committed team that is dedicated to serving the territory and its inhabitants. We have an important general interest mission, which is to educate young audiences about quality food, promote quality products in Provence, and raise awareness about sustainable agriculture.”
Frédéric Favrot, Director General of Koppert France and President of Epicurium, Cavaillon

“Robertet has developed genuine expertise in natural products in Grasse. In 2018, this savoir-faire was recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Natural ingredients are a core consumer expectation, whether for well-being, beauty, or health products. And Robertet is responding to these expectations with ever greater passion and with quality, innovative, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly products.”
Philippe Maubert, CEO, Robertet

Philippe-Maubert
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“As a business owner, Provence is the only area in France whose name resonates in such an international way. It’s a name that evokes a lot of positive things.”
Luc Ronfard, head of Lou Bio, Mansoque

Interview with Gilles Fayard, Managing Director of Innov’Alliance, about the cluster’s involvement at the European level that is supported by various programs and funding initiatives, including the Enterprise Europe Network:

The major recurring events related to the Natural Living sector in the Sud region

Med’Agri: A new trade fair for farmers and the agricultural sector!

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The Med’Agri trade fair was created in the heart of the Sud region to provide new opportunities to farming professionals and to meet the high expectations of the agricultural production sector. Held every two years, the third edition of Med’Agri was held at the Parc des Expositions in Avignon.

Med’Agri

Date : 2022 TBA
Lieu : Avignon, France

Selection of documentation about the sector

A wide variety of support documents are available to provide information and help promote this sector. We propose a selection of the most informative documents so you can discover the richness of the Natural Living ecosystem.

Sector Brochure

A general summary of the sector that is appropriate for any type of event. Four pages, in French and in English.

HR Guide for Sector

Multi-purpose document presenting the human resources connected to this sector. Four pages, in French and in English.

Panorama

An economic overview of the Natural Living strategic sector (key figures, business networks, major contractors and companies, main assets of the territory …). Document of close to 100 pages, in French.

Benchmark

Comparison of the regional sector with other French or international regions of comparable size and/or comparable sector of activity. Document of close to 90 pages, in French.

Keynote

Presentation of the Natural Living strategic sector. Document of more than 30 pages, in French and English.

Visit Program

Listing of the major projects, platforms, clusters, and iconic sites connected to this sector. This document illustrates some of the most important places in this sector and provides with you with comprehensive overview that will give you a clearer idea of some of the region’s assets. Document close to 25 pages, in French and English.