The agrifood Industry in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is an agrifood powerhouse. Ranked third nationwide, we’re your gateway to markets in France and across Europe. And as the country’s top exporting region for agrifood products, we’re an ideal springboard to international markets. Find out what our region can do for your business.

The agrifood Industry in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is an agrifood powerhouse. Ranked third nationwide, we’re your gateway to markets in France and across Europe. And as the country’s top exporting region for agrifood products, we’re an ideal springboard to international markets. Find out what our region can do for your business.


About agrifood in Hauts-de-France

Key figures tell the story

  • #1 region in France for agrifood exports
  • #3 region in France for agrifood jobs – over 45,000 in all
  • over 1,300 businesses
  • €10bn in sales

These global players are in Hauts-de-France

The region is home to many national and international leaders, from Häagen-Dazs to Refresco to McCain and Barilla. Some regional companies have become international leaders, such as Bonduelle, Roquette, Lesaffre and Paul (Holder). And this list is far from being exhaustive!

Connect with your customers!

Our strategic position gives you easy access to your markets.

Europe’s wealthiest consumer market

Within 300 km—half a day by truck—you’ll find:

  • 78 million consumers
  • €1,500bn in purchasing power

Hauts-de-France is the birthplace of the French retail industry—and home to head offices and procurement centers for major supermarkets, hypermarkets and food/restaurant chains, including Auchan, Paul and Flunch

Find your place in Hauts-de-France

As an agrifood powerhouse, Hauts-de-France has built a strong, diversified industry in an expanding market. Entrepreneurs looking to grow their business in France can tap into a complete ecosystem with abundant growth opportunities.

Want to join our ecosystem?

Easy access to high-quality produce and raw materials!

Our agrifood industry is built on a strong, fast-growing farm sector, with specialized expertise in many crops. And when you source your ingredients here, you’ll earn the coveted Made in France label.

David Caron, Häagen-Dazs plant manager in Arras:

The Arras site was chosen for three reasons, the main one being the quality and availability of raw materials. The Region of Arras and more broadly the Pas-de-Calais offer high-quality and easy-to-access key ingredients such as milk or cream […] both in quantity and quality.

In addition, the « Made in France » label is an undeniable advantage. It is obvious on the French market. When it comes to the Asian market […], manufacturing a made-in-France luxury ice-cream enables our products to be perceived as more qualitative.”

Fast facts on French farming

Over € 0 bn

in sales from crops

Over € 0 bn

in sales from livestock

40 products rank in France’s Top Five, including


  • Wheat
  • Chicory
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Endives
  • Onions
  • Peas


  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Hops
  • Linen (textiles)
  • Turnips
  • Leeks
  • Champagne


  • Mushroom
  • Broccoli


  • Curly endive
  • Rapeseed
  • Eggs
  • Barley


  • Milk
  • Pigs
  • Poultry

Optimize your logistics

From a single hub in Hauts-de-France, you can

  • import and export products around the globe through our world-class maritime ports
  • manage local and regional shipments in France and around Europe using our multimodal hubs and highway network.

Leverage our expertise in food R&D

Global players have made Hauts-de-France a center for agrifood R&D, backed by university research centers for new-product development and innovation. Market leaders including Bonduelle, Roquette, Lessaffre, Ingredia and Tate & Lyle have funded major R&D and innovation labs conducting ground-breaking research in nutrition and food products.

Leading university research centers

UniLasalle is an agricultural engineering school with research units in food and non-food applications of agro-resources, plus an engineering unit focusing on research in nutrition and public health.

In Lille, the Pasteur Institute’s nutrition department leads applied research projects that include food formulation, nutritional claims and labeling, and nutrition audits.

INRAE is France’s national agronomy research institute, specializing in agriculture, food and the environment.

Adrianor is an innovation center specializing in product development, formulation, ingredient research, and physical, chemical and sensory testing.

Based in Lille, ISA is a school for agrifood engineers. It also conducts food-related R&D, focusing on formulation and on physical, chemical and sensory testing.

SAS Pivert  logo

SAS Pivert is an innovation-driven bioeconomics startup that uses a breakthrough approach to plant chemistry to accelerate the development and launch of new products and processes.

Improve is Europe’s first innovation hub for plant-protein research and development.

Extractis is a technical center focusing exclusively on plant biomass extraction (plant-based biorefinery techniques).

Close-up: Euralimentaire business incubator

Euralimentaire is a business incubator and accelerator built on a network of local innovators in agrifood, health, nutrition and logistics. Its mission is to generate business and create jobs by promoting fresh produce, especially local products. Since 2016 it has helped create over 18 start-ups and 70 jobs.

3 competitiveness clusters

The region’s leading network of professionals in industry, research and health, with a focus on innovation in health and nutrition.

Promoting seafood and aquaculture-based products.

Bioeconomics cluster

We’ve got the talent you need, from skilled factory workers to researchers.

A wide choice of education and training programs addressing the agrifood industry’s needs, in particular:

  • food processes
  • nutrition
  • food safety
  • marketing & innovation

Close-up: two outstanding schools


Based in Lille, ISA specializes in bio- and agricultural and engineering, with degree programs from BA to Master’s, focusing on agricultural, food and environmental science, as well as economics, marketing and management. The school also advises businesses in the agrifood, farming and eco-sectors.


UniLasalle has nearly 160 years’ experience in innovative life sciences, earth science and agronomy. Located in Beauvais, its 10-hectare campus includes housing for 1,100, and its 1,800 students can draw on a 5,000-strong alumni network and 108 partner institutions in 38 countries.

Research focuses on:

  • agro-resources
  • health and nutrition (human and animal health, promoting and protecting public health, consumer behavior)
  • geoscience and the environment (hydrogeology and industrial risks)

Competitive salary costs in Europe

Total annual cost for a qualified worker

Source: EY/NFI 2020

Find the site you need

A wide choice of plug & play solutions

Our region has a range of greenfield solutions offering a perfect match with food industry requirements, including:

  • Direct access to highway networks
  • Direct access to utilities (water, natural gas, electricity)
  • High quality environment at attractive prices
  • Large surfaces

Want competitive costs? Come to Hauts-de-France

Real estate costs are a major factor when selecting a region and site. To make things easier, Nord France Invest offers a tool that lets you compare building rentals and land prices. It uses data identified by EY and compiled by our team.

Average cost of an industrial site between 5,000 and 20,000 sq m

Source: EY/NFI 2020