Sofiprotéol is finance and development arm of Avril, which owns brands including Matines eggs and Lesieur cooking oil

Sofiprotéol is finance and development arm of Avril, which owns brands including Matines eggs and Lesieur cooking oil

The financing arm of France's agri-food firm Avril Group has secured EUR100m (US$120m) in funding, giving it more firepower to invest in the food and farming sectors.

Sofiproteol, which has supported companies in the French and European agri-food and agro-industry businesses since its creation in 1983, received the funds from a consortium of contributors including the nation's lender Credit Agricole, according to a statement. 

With the new funding, Sofiproteol said its commitments could now reach EUR75m a year, as opposed to EUR50m previously, which it can put to use in the six areas it covers: upstream plant production; upstream animal production; the collection and marketing of plant and animal products; agricultural processing and food ingredients; retail food products; and sustainable innovation and investment funds.

Sofiproteol deputy manager Michel Boucly said of the financing: "This increase in capital is a major advance. It testifies to our growth dynamic and the reputation of our activities at the service of all actors in the French Farm, responding more than ever to our community mission to create value that will serve our national sectors."

Joining Credit Agricole in the financing round were other historical funding partners as well as new ones – Arkea and five regional offices of French insurer Groupama Gan Vie.

The historical partners include Credit Agricole, investment bank Natixis, agri-food investor Unigrains, Terres Univia - the inter-professional organisation for vegetable oils and proteins - and ANAMSO, the French Association for Oilseed Seed Producers.

Credit Agricole's Laurent Bennett, the bank's director for agriculture, agri-food and specialised markets, said: "This operation involves long-term partners which have excellent knowledge of these French sectors, the changes they are experiencing and all the actors concerned. From now on, backed by our new subscribers, we and Sofiproteol will be able to reaffirm our commitment to fostering the emergence of French champions in the agri-food and agro-industry sectors."