Camembert, cider, Andouille de Vire (smoked sausage), salt marsh lamb and more Normandy specialities tantalise people’s tastebuds all over the world. But did you know that Mont-Blanc cream, Champomy non-alcoholic sparkling wine and even blinis are made in Normandy too? Food companies have everything they need for a recipe for success here: close to agricultural and maritime industries, personnel, logistics, R&D organisations and professional associations. There’s even a regional brand for them: Saveurs de Normandie!

An industry rooted in the land

If you want to make delicious cream, you need good milk! The food industry in Normandy specialises in six key areas with direct links to local production from farms: dairy products, apple products, seafood, meat and cured meat, sweet products and grains.

Excellence exported all over the world

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The food companies in Calvados, Manche and Orne focus primarily on meat and dairy products. That’s where you’ll find big businesses such as Savencia (Elle&Vire) or Charal. Meanwhile, the nearby ports of Le Havre and Rouen mean companies in Eure and Seine-Maritime make products from imported ingredients including coffee, tea and chocolate. Industry giants such as Segafredo, Kusmi Tea and Ferrero, to name but a few, have opened their factories here. 

World-famous brands and products. The 670 companies working in the industry turn over 5.2 billion euros every year, including 1.1 billion in exports. The biggest fans of Normandy food and drink are Europe (Germany, Belgium, Great Britain etc.), America and Japan.

Did you know ?

The “Huître de Normandie”, Normandy oyster, has held the Protected Geographical Indication (IGP in French) since October 2023: the 9th PGI for a Normandy product. The designation recognises local oyster farmers for their expertise producing this outstanding shellfish.

A regional brand that raises the industry’s profile

The regional food brand Saveurs de Normandie highlights Normandy’s reputation as food experts. AREA Normandie founded the brand in 2003, in partnership with the Normandy region and support from the EU. 135 companies (600 products) are united by its leopard logo and core values such as provenance, quality, flavour and social responsibility. It sets the standard among consumers!

The food industry, a source of pride for Normandy

  • The biggest French region making
    cheese (from cow milk), butter, cream, apple products etc.
  • 15 Normandy products with the AOC (controlled designation of origin) and 9 with the Protected Geographical Indication (IGP)
  • 674 companies
  • Over 25,000 employees

Industry pillars in Normandy

Farming

Normandy is still the biggest French region in terms of how much working farmland it has: 2 million ha. The food industry is supported by the strong and diverse local farming sector (34,000 farmers and farmhands, 26,500 farms including 2300 organic farms). Normandy is a land of breeding (cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, horses etc.), crops (e.g. the biggest linen and leek producer) and even seafood (oysters, mussels) as one of the main fish farm areas in France. 

Business centres and associations

The Norman food industry is particularly well organised, with several institutions and associations that unite and empower the sector. They include the Regional Chamber of Agriculture in Normandy and its 5 départemental branches.
AREA (Regional Association of Agricultural Companies) in Normandy is another organisation that champions the industry (270 members, 80% of which are companies). It is also involved in hosting regular events (workshops, webinars, food awards) and showcasing companies at major industry events such as the Salon de l’Agriculture farm show and Made in France trade fair. Normandy is also part of the VALORIAL Grand Ouest food industry business cluster alongside Brittany and Pays de la Loire. It has 400 members (manufacturers, research laboratories, training centres) working towards the same goal: be part of the future of food.

Research

The food industry in Normandy relies on an extensive network of public and private laboratories. Food companies are supported by the likes of ACTALIA (listed as an “Institut Technique Agro-industriel”) and Labéo Normandie providing expert analytical laboratory technologies. Research at INRAE Bretagne Normandie focuses on sustainable food production, IFREMER’s Laboratoire Environnement Ressources de Normandie works on managing marine resources whilst SMEL strives to protect them. In Manche, GIE SILEBAN and its centre for experimenting and growing crops bring innovation to local farms.

Events showcasing the industry in Normandy

  • French trade fair
    With support from AREA and the region, Normandy shows what it can do at major industry events such as the Salon de l’Agriculture, SIAL, Made in France trade fair, Le Marché Normand in Paris and SIRHA in Lyon (every two years). 
  • Normandy food events
    Food companies treat visitors at major events hosted in Normandy to a feast for all the senses. Just take Cidrexpo, the international cider trade fair in Normandy, and Fêno, Normandy’s fine food festival. Apéro Normand is an annual event by Saveurs de Normandie showcasing local produce at hundreds of partner establishments (bars, restaurants, shops etc.). 
  • Trophées de l’agroalimentaire
    Normandy’s food industry has its own awards ceremony! AREA Normandie launched the event in 2006 with forty partners to encourage and celebrate food innovation by local businesses in all areas: flavour, products, processes, packaging etc. The awards have recognised as many as 310 regional innovations in over 15 years. 

Food industry and energy transition 

Eco-refinery factory, AI solutions to improve assembly lines etc. Businesses in the food industry strive for better production using less energy.

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The regional brand Saveurs de Normandie made CSR part of its mission in 2019. In other words, its members must tackle sustainable development challenges and meet targets. With this in mind, some companies have been given support in eco-design projects and improving their energy performance.

The Normandy Region wants to help businesses get to where they need to be, so it joined forces with the Bioeconomy For Change network in April 2021 (500 members and a team of 35 experts) to expand its bioeconomy sector and help reduce the carbon footprint of several industries and products.

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Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.

 

Discover the support for the agri-food industry by AD Normandie

Employment in the food industry in Normandy

The food industry is integral to Normandy’s economy with over 25,000 jobs and turnover accounting for 23% of the region’s industry. Businesses are in the perfect place to flourish: farmlands, industrial expertise, wide range of logistics and port services.

Companies in the industry

Major groups in the food industry have opened factories in Normandy including Lactalis, Nestlé, Danone, Bigard, LDC, Cargill, Saint-Louis Sucre, Labeyrie and Lu. Local (Isigny Sainte-Mère, ou les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin) and national cooperatives also call the region home. For example, the Agrial group’s HQ is in Caen and several of its affiliates are in Manche (Florette, Priméale). Normandy’s food industry also has a large network of often long-standing but always exciting SMEs such as Gillot, Graindorge, Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye, Nutriset, Frial and Normandise.

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Most companies are hiring with opportunities depending on their size and prospects. They tend to need personnel in production, management, maintenance and health & safety. Operators, line workers, maintenance engineers, quality and lab technicians are among the most sought-after candidates.

Food industry courses

Training of excellence

In line with the needs of its food industry, Normandy has a wide range of courses including degrees in bio-industries and food engineering. 

Academic establishments

Université de Rouen Normandie (nutrition, health and diet degree, production management and food & biotech valuation vocational diplomas, bio-industry analysis and quality Master’s), Université de Caen Normandie (agricultural science vocational and Master’s degrees, technology degree, bachelor degree etc.), IAE Caen (Master’s in Management), ESIX NORMANDIE (food engineering and industrial engineering courses), EM Normandie (Master’s specialising in marketing, communication and food engineering), Unilasalle (18 degree courses including 1 food engineering course), Natura Pôle Seine-Maritime (food processing bio-industries vocational diploma, higher education diploma in food science and technology, food product development and formulation vocational diploma); 3IFA (butchery – catering/baking and pâtisserie); FIM CCI Ouest Normandie Group (50 courses ranging from NVQ to postgraduate degrees in industry, logistics, international, financial management etc); Institut Lemonnier (HND in production systems maintenance, mechatronic and robotic engineering diploma), CFA Saint Lô Thère (HND to vocational diploma), Groupe Promotrans (logistics)

News in the food industry in Normandy

Cider in Normandy: the apple of the region’s eye!

The profession is attracting more women and young people, business is booming and sustainability is a key ingredient. A cider from Normandy was named the best cider in the world in 2023 and Normandy has never shone so brightly in the cider world. Let’s introduce you to 5 Normandy producers, flying the flag for their…

Uncover the secrets behind Normandy’s organic AOP camembert!

Calvados, Normandy’s signature spirit

Isigny-Sainte-Mère: Normandy dairy know-how recognised around the world

In Normandy: training that’s unique in France !

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