Overall, farming suffered less than other sectors during the lockdown period in an area well known to Banque Populaire.
According to BPCE’s economists, the increase in food consumption, the refocusing on basic commodities, and the use of short distribution channels have had a positive impact on agricultural activities, although this positive observation masks disparities between different sectors. Conversely, the sector suffered a rather negative impact from a combination of other factors: the reduction in “festive” purchases, dependence on international markets, and supply issues.
For the Banques Populaires and their 101,000 agricultural banking relationships – and beyond the emergency financial support made available to farmers – this trend towards resilience validates the strategy adopted by the Group in 2018 and reasserted with the health crisis. This strategy is based on three pillars: agricultural trade, notably e-commerce and short distribution channels; agri-acting©, a proactive approach designed to valorize Agriculture and farmers with a view to developing farmers’ activities; and eco-responsibility through a switch to organic farming, among other things.
Listen to the interview with Mélanie Vilboux, head of the Agriculture, Viticulture & Blue Growth market of Banque Populaire Grand Ouest.
Increase in consumption in the agricultural and agri-food sectors during the lockdown period, according to INSEE, the only industrial sectors displaying growth.
Estimated loss of activity in the agricultural sector during the lockdown period, according to INSEE, one of the few sectors that continued its production activities.
Percentage of French farms that are customers of Banque Populaire (2019)
*Source: BPCE Economic research