FRANCE – French dairy company, Bel Group, has entered into a collaboration with the CEN of Franche-Comté and the EPAGE of Haut-Doubs Haute-Loue and Doubs-Dessoubre to revitalize over 40 peatlands in the Jura region over the next six years.

The CEN of Franche-Comté, dedicated to environmental conservation in the region, and EPAGE, responsible for water management in specific regions, join hands with Bel in this crucial endeavor.

The initiative aims to restore wetlands renowned for their biodiversity and role in water cycle preservation, while also recognizing their carbon capture capabilities.

Bel Group’s initiative is in line with its climate and biodiversity strategy, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions across its value chain in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C trajectory.

Peatlands, covering a mere 3% of Earth’s land surface but holding one-third of the soil’s carbon content, are key in global climate mitigation efforts.

The commitment to decarbonizing the food sector was reaffirmed by Bel Group in February 2022, with pledges to achieve carbon neutrality in its factories by 2025 and across its entire value chain by 2050.

Meanwhile, to realize these goals, Bel is investing approximately €10 million annually in projects with positive environmental, social, and economic impacts.

In this latest project, Bel Group leverages the carbon sequestration potential of peatlands in the Jura region, where the company has historical roots.

The partnership aims to accelerate peatland rehabilitation projects, doubling the current rate of execution.

Antoine Fiévet, President of Bel Group, emphasized the crucial role of peatlands in carbon sequestration, water supply, and biodiversity preservation.

He underscored Bel’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable food production accessible to all.

“Peatlands are little-known yet exceptional natural ecosystems that play an essential role in carbon sequestration, fresh water supply, but also in the preservation and restoration of biodiversity,” he said.

“With this partnership, dedicated to their rehabilitation, alongside the CEN of Franche-Comté and the EPAGE Haut-Doubs Haute-Loue and Doubs-Dessoubre, we demonstrate once again that the responsible action of Bel group in favour of the environment.”

On the other hand, Muriel Loriod-Bardi, President of the CEN of Franche-Comté, highlighted the significance of peatland restoration in strengthening the community’s attachment to their natural environment.

She called for increased engagement from various stakeholders to preserve and rehabilitate these invaluable ecosystems.

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