Sustainable Development

Two noteworthy partnerships (VNF and RFF)

01 December 2010

port de nogent sur seine

France’s Environment Policy Unit has set the target of transferring 25% of freight to non-road. The Soufflet Group which, from the outset, has been in favour of long distance transport that is “kinder” for the environment, is taking up this major challenge. In the past year it has signed two noteworthy agreements, with Voies Navigables de France (the French waterways authority) and Réseau Ferré de France (France’s rail track agency).

Promoting river freight

26 october 2009: the Soufflet Group and Voies Navigables de France (VNF) undertake to redevelop river freight. The partnership agreement was signed at Nogent/Seine in the presence of Dominique Bussereau, Secretary of State responsible for transport. In the next five years, the Group will be increasing the portion of goods it sends by water by 25%, to attain an annual average of 1.5 million tonnes of goods carried.

It also means to improve handling conditions and support inland waterways. The alliance is in line with the target set in 2002, in an outline agreement between VNF and the ONIC (FranceAgriMer), to support increased river transport for cereals.

 VNF’s commitments

– To facilitate the conditions for using waterways for the Group’s transport of goods and access to sites.
– To detail the needs for infrastructure improvements.
– To take part in technical and economic research, and the development of port facilities.

With the start-up of the new Nogent malt plant, supplies arriving by water for the Rouen silo are going to increase progressively from 45% to more than 60% by volume. So Soufflet Négoce has overhauled its barge unloading unit to speed up throughput and increase productivity. 3,300t/d unloading capacity is being upped to 6,000t/d.

A French decree allows 44 tonne trucks to serve sites with inland waterway links (inward and outward transport, 40t previously). Its application is subject to approval by the Prefect for the region. The first approval order was published on 15 February 2010 for the port of Nogent/Seine. 44 tonne trucks can run within a radius of 100 km as the crow flies with no requirement to go to the nearest port. They can carry any products.

 Developing railway freight

28 september 2010: with Hubert du Mesnil, Chairman of Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), Jean-Michel Soufflet signed the new partnership agreement covering a dozen railway lines that serve the Group’s sites. It will guarantee a minimum volume of traffic on renovated lines. The two partners will be working with local authorities so that they support the continuity of small local lines.

RFF’s commitments

– Consultation and cooperation between the two enterprises so as to take account of the Soufflet Group’s transport requirements.
– Renovation of certain railway lines serving Soufflet’s silos.


Our approach

Right from the outset, the Soufflet Group developed itself in the wheat and barley industries by broadening the scope of its activities and acquiring more in-depth expertise from collection to transformation. Controlling all aspects of the production chain, in order to serve all its stakeholders, has always been our culture.