The organisers of the Sommet de l’Elevage were smiling broadly on the final evening of the 28th edition of the show.
“It was a great honour for us to welcome Emmanuel Macron, the French President to the exhibition,” declared Jacques Chazalet, president of the Sommet de l’Elevage. “His visit was not just a recognition for the show, but also for the farmers and their work. Despite the difficult economic context, he was warmly welcomed by the farming industry and his exchanges with farmers were, to say the least, very positive. The President made time to talk with both farmers and visitors and told us that he was delighted by his visit and that he would come back to the fair next year.”
Other politicians to visit the show included the French Minister of Agriculture, Didier Guillaume, and Laurent Wauquiez, President of the Auvergne-RhÃ´ne-Alpes region, who spent the entire day at the Sommet de l’Elevage, where he made several announcements, all in support of agriculture. “The Auvergne RhÃ´ne-Alpes region allocates the largest budget, of all the French regions, to agriculture and its development is one of the region’s priorities,” Fabrice Berthon, the Sommet’s general manager, explained. “Laurent Wauquiez also confirmed that the building of the second exhibition hall would be completed in 2021. That means we will celebrate our 30th birthday with an additional exhibition hall, that will take the Sommet to an entirely different level.”
The number of visitors continues to increase, and the international focus continues to progress
With a total of 96,000 visitors, including 5,000 international visitors, the Sommet welcomed a further thousand people to the show compared to 2018, half of whom came from overseas, according to Roger Blanc, the show’s founder president. “The International Lounge proved very popular and many trade contacts were made during the three days of the exhibition,” he said. With Africa as guest of honour, many delegations, including the farm ministers of Niger and Burkina Faso, made the journey from West Africa to the Sommet and its showground at Clermont-Ferrand.
Delegations from many other countries also came to the show, from countries afar, including Brazil, Equator, Russia, Azerbaijan, China, Mongolia, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lastly, the farm visits were once again very popular among the show’s visitors. No spare places were to be had for any of the farm and agro-industrial sites visited. “The programmed visits make an excellent complement to the exhibition and they attract a significant number of foreign visitors to the fair,” added Blanc.
Blonde d’Aquitaine National Championships, the breed present in number and quality
“A truly magnificent show,” summarised Lionel Giraudeau, director of the French Blonde d’Aquitaine Selection Organisation. “The breed’s farmers were delighted to return to the Sommet at Clermont for their National Championships and they clearly brought their very best cattle with them. It was the perfect occasion for them to make new contacts with the show’s international visitors, many of whom came to see the livestock in their stalls. Apart from the commercial angle, the Sommet enabled them to discuss with other farmers. This show is not just an undeniable farm business event, it’s also the festive atmosphere that everybody, visitors and exhibitors alike, appreciate.
“And what can I say of the judging that took place in the heart of the Zenith concert hall? It’s quite simply an incredible setting that enables farmers to show off their livestock in the very best conditions. The feedback from the spectators was extremely positive as they appreciated the comfort of the seats in the stands and the very professional sound and lighting. What can I add, except to say that it was a quite excellent show.”
A full house for exhibitors
With 1,560 exhibitors this year (cf. 1,510 in 2018), the number of exhibitors continues to grow despite the difficult economic context. The atmosphere in the aisles was most business-like and enjoyment was the watchword throughout the Sommet. Despite exhibitors having anticipated farmers’ concerns, it took nothing away from the excellent business contacts made and the projects to be implemented.
New themes in relation to the expectations of modern society and climate change, to name just two, were more to the forefront, as were other recurrent themes of animal welfare, organic agriculture, renewable energy and changes in production methods.
A most successful first year for the Start-up Village
For the first time, the Sommet set aside two areas specifically for agricultural start-ups. Located in Halls 3 and 6 and called “The Innovation Barns,” they were very warmly welcomed. It must be pointed out that every innovation on offer had been clearly thought out with and for farmers enabling them to ease their workload, optimise their work and reduce the hardship. Among the acclaimed innovations were connected cattle collars and other sensors that allow farmers to follow their herds and flocks.
year, the area will be even bigger and more visible, proof that agriculture is
a growing and dynamic sector for these sorts of innovations!
A huge success for the Angus breed
With just 3 cows present at the show, the Angus breed stand remained well visited. It must be said that Puma, the Black Angus calf broke the hearts of all visitors in attracting so much attention. “A true mascot” was the description of Fabien Warzee, an Angus farmer from the Ardennes departement. “Considering that it is the very first time that we have come to the Sommet with our Angus cattle, we are more than satisfied. The Angus is a breed of cow that intrigues and appeals to the visitor. We also made some excellent contacts with foreign visitors from Japan, Russia and Italy. However, it must be said that prior to the fair we were not convinced that it would be a good idea to come. Now looking back on the three days of the show, it now seems patently obvious to us that it was a great idea and we’ll be back next year with even more Angus cattle.”
ROUSSEAU, one company exhibiting at the Sommet, was very pleased. And even more so as this year it won a prestigious Sommet d’Or prize rewarding innovation for its E-Fulgor circular saw hedge cutter. “The Sommet is an unmissable event. We have been coming here for over 11 years. It’s the most enjoyable and friendly show that we attend,” said Philippe Royet, the firm’s sales director.
Same remarks from BIORET AGRI, who had a most successful show from the number of serious contacts made and the enjoyable atmosphere. And for its technical and sales director, Samuel Bouchard, this year’s show was even more important as his firm won the very first Sommet d’Or innovation award in the animal welfare category, receiving their trophy from the French Minister of Agriculture in person. “A source of enormous pride for our company!” said Bouchard.
The Sommet 2019 in figures:
- 1,560 exhibitors of which 340 from 38 different countries
- 18 ha of showground space
- 83,000 mÂ² of net exhibitor space
- 96,000 visitors
- 5,000 international visitors from 90 different countries
- 35 farm and agro-industrial site visits
- 2,000 animals and 70 different breeds on show
- 190 journalists of which 52 foreign journalists from 27 different countries
The 2020 Sommet will host the AUBRAC breed National Championships.
Save the dates: October 7-9, 2020!
Source: Sommet de l’Elevage