November 29, 2021

Agroforestry: The tree, the best friend of a company that cares about the planet

Sincerely offset your carbon footprint by replanting trees; make a contribution to the fight against the climate revolution: this voluntarism is becoming commonplace. There are many programs. Including one in the region of a Scop, Gardoise, Agroof: 20,000 Pieds sur Terre, succeeding in bringing together about fifteen sponsoring companies. Already 1,700 trees have been planted in one year!

For a long time, we did not stop cutting trees, the monoculture and land consolidation of the last century oblige. Today, instead of banning them, we replant them. So go the ages. It has a learned name: agroforestry, which has even become a science. It is the act of putting trees back on farms, in fruit and vegetable production, in the heart of vines, but also in the heart of breeding: trees provide animals with protection from the sun and the cold. Some of these trees can be forage to feed animals. A tree of life!

The trees are replanted in the hedges …

Walnut, corm, olive… Each tree has its own culture to enhance the marriage that avoids soil erosion and impoverishment and will play its role in the climate revolution. Associating trees with crops and pastures is as old as the world. The black pigs of Bigorre under the trees, the Breton bocage or the Norman orchards meadows … are ancestral farms. Returned to grace, the trees resume their place at the edge of the field, in the hedges … in the rules of the tree …

Reduce treatments, store carbon …

Agroforestry. Ph. Agroof

With advantages which saliva our time: the tree allows to reduce or to do without phytosanitary products (treatments and fertilizers); better manage water supplies; to maintain a certain biodiversity better management of water resources, preservation of biodiversity, carbon storage, soil quality, animal welfare, as well as the diversification of agricultural income. It is also a tool for adapting to climate change (which has a very strong impact on the agricultural environment). The panacea!

Some 150 farmer projects carried out

In the Gard, in Anduze, Agroof has been a specialist in agroforestry for more than 20 years (1) with several fields of activity: research, training, advice. Employing eleven employees, Agroof is approached by farmers interested in this ecological approach. “We advise them to set up an agro-forestry system at home; to know which trees to plant; How? ‘Or’ What ; according to what objectives; we help them with funding files; on finding aids. ” In short, it’s turnkey. “Some 150 farmer projects have been directly supported (trees planted and monitored) in recent years, representing more than 30,000 trees planted and monitored. About thirty research projects have been carried out. And around fifty training sessions are held each year ”, summarizes Virginie Sanfelieu d’Agroof.

This design office, which has become a cooperative with the ESUS (Solidarity Company of Social Utility) label, launched an original program a year ago, baptized 20,000 on earth, a nod to 20,000 places under the seas by Jules Verne. It is a sponsorship of trees that is not incidental or trivial.

No question of greenwaching operation

Agroforestry. Ph. Agroof

The People’s Bank, as Tell Them explained to you, offers each new client the opportunity to invest in tree planting., les Truffaut stores in Nîmes and Montpellier, BRL, ErgoSanté, the Frelin Group… About fifteen companies, all aware of the issue, are “godmothers”Of this program, without making ripolinage, she swears. And other companies, which reject their intention to do greenwaching, are “Very well on the way to contractual engagement with Agroof”. There is something for all budgets. The range of support goes from € 310 to more than € 10,000. The equivalent of 1,700 trees were thus co-financed and around thirty days of research financed by partner companies.

“A sincere and ecological local sponsorship program”

Companies like this design office say they are the opposite of greenwaching, display for communication reasons. “Those who just want to advertise wouldn’t end up in our program. And we are not looking for them. We didn’t do this to make money. These companies want to do something positive in their territory. It is a sincere and ecological local sponsorship program, accessible to all sizes of businesses. They must have a CSR commitment and values ​​must be shared. ”

It is also an opportunity to create links between two worlds which do not know each other well or even ignore each other: farmers – often young people who have taken over the family farm and want to produce differently – and businesses.. This sponsorship supports farmers by working to change their practices towards greater resilience; it is also a contribution for the whole of society ”. This evokes in hollow the management of water, global warming, etc.

Agroforestry. Ph. Denis Flores. Agroof

With Ovea, we had a very good discussion on carbon offsetting… ”

Virginie Sanfelieu quotes a partner company “copy” : Red and white mobility which offers a car reservation service with driver for companies and communities. It uses eco-responsible vehicles. People are booking online. The antipodes of Uber, they say: “They want drivers to be paid properly, for example, and now mobilize at least 1% of its turnover for three years to sponsor trees. This year it was 1.7%. ” The program director also quotes Ovea, in Montpellier, which hosts professional servers. “This local SME has worked a lot on its carbon impact and was looking to offset what it produces. They are the ones who found us, they were looking for a local actor. We had a very good discussion on carbon offsetting. ”

“A local, sustainable and verifiable action…”

Agroforestry. Ph. Agroof

Agroof adds: “Our program stands out compared to others because it allows local, sustainable and verifiable action: the trees are selected from local species. (most often the brand of the French Office for local Plant Biodiversity) for which we are correspondents for the Mediterranean area and we work with local nurserymen …) They are planted according to the rules of the art (protection, mulching, etc.) and monitored for years by our experts. Companies are invited to meet the farmers supported, to participate in the plantings, to follow the trees planted, to visit our experimentation sites. ”

“Agroof’s work is very virtuous”

“The work of Agroof is very virtuous”, specifies Montpellier Christian Dupraz, researcher at INRAE ​​and president of the brand new international agroforestry association. Plantation projects are flourishing and number probably in the tens of thousands in France. “But we don’t know how many plantation projects there are in France; it is very complicated, there is no body that centralizes this data nor a label ”, he specifies. The specialist advises interested companies to turn first to the French Agroforestry Association.

“Beware of certain operators, especially Spanish”

Ph Michel FERNANDEZ

Christian Dupraz confirms that “Some companies are aware of the issues and sincerely participate in planting projects in the middle of crops and therefore there the trees are monitored and maintained.” He also claims that for some others it is “Just to raise funds, but that this is only 1/4 or 1/10 of the way to go: planting takes a minute. However, it is necessary to take care of the trees for a long time; a tree lives 100 years. I have seen so many dead plantations after five or ten years … In the years 1980 to 2000, in Languedoc-Roussillon, on 10 hectares of trees planted, nine hectares had died after 20 years. We must also pay attention to many intermediaries or unscrupulous companies, especially Spanish operators… ”

Olivier SCHLAMA

Trees, biodiversity, that’s for sure Tell them !