2024 National Animal Agrobiodiversity Prize: 3 projects honored for their commitment to the preservation of endangered farm animals   

2024 National Animal Agrobiodiversity Prize: 3 projects honored for their commitment to the preservation of endangered farm animals   

Paris, 15 May 2024 – On the occasion of World Endangered Species Day, Ceva Santé Animale and the Fondation du Patrimoine are proud to announce the three winners of the twelfth National Prize for Animal Agrobiodiversity event, held each year to reward the commitment of French breeders to the preservation of our farm animals. 

Animal agrobiodiversity: a response to tomorrow’s challenges 

Farm animals have a vital role to play: they help ensure our food sovereignty and are essential to the sustainability of our ecosystem. Furthermore, the agriculture of the future will need to rely upon these “local” animal species and their genetic diversity in order to successfully respond to environmental and planetary challenges. This will only be possible, however, if the continued presence of these breeds in our stables is ensured despite the threat of disappearance now looming over several of them: from sheep and cattle to poultry and swine, nearly 168 different French livestock breeds are endangered in 2024 according to INRAE.  

A few determined enthusiasts, whether breeders, members of non-profit organizations or members of agricultural consortia, strive every day to ensure the survival of these threatened species. Their dedication contributes to preserving the richness and animal diversity of our agriculture, strengthening its capacity for adaptation and resilience in the face of major disruptions. 

Rewarding stakeholders committed to the richness of our local heritage 

Out of their firm belief in the importance of raising awareness about initiatives like these that contribute to the common interest, Ceva Santé Animale and the Fondation du Patrimoine award the National Animal Agrobiodiversity Prize each year, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty. This annual initiative is a way to celebrate the outstanding efforts made by men and women committed to preserving the historic animal heritage of our local regions.  

The major criteria considered in awarding the prize are the economic value of the project, its social and environmental impact in the local region, as well as the actions taken to promote awareness about the breed it seeks to preserve. This year, the prize will reward one association and two livestock breeders for their work and dedication to the Ferrandaise cow (1st prize), the Lapin-Chèvre rabbit (2nd prize) and the Belle-Île sheep (3rd prize). 

1st Prize: The Ferrandaise Cow Association for the Protection of the Ferrandaise Cattle Breed (Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) 

A breed narrowly saved by the efforts of impassioned breeders
The Ferrandaise cow, although recognized for its robustness, almost disappeared in the 1970s before being saved by impassioned breeders who created the Association for the Protection of the Ferrandaise Cattle Breed in 1977. Its main objective is to cultivate the breed and promote products derived from it, whilst helping to strengthen its local roots. With 3,700 females in 2021 compared to less than 200 in 1990, the Ferrandaise cow is now safe. The association’s work continues however, in particular thanks to the dedication of young breeders aware of the positive economic and ecological opportunities offered by this emblematic local breed.  

The project:  Creation of a brand based on a mission statement and charter written by breeders; research on the nutritional characteristics of Ferrandaise breed products. Development of the “Ferrandaise Route,” which enables visitors to discover the region and Ferrandaise breed products in collaboration with partner restaurateurs. 
Award amount: €15,000 

Project initiated by: Association for the Protection of the Ferrandaise Cattle Breed 

City: Aydat (63970) 

Website 

2nd Prize: The Lapin-Chèvre Rabbit Julien Bousiquier, breeder 
(Haute-Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) 

Towards a renaissance of Lapin-Chèvre rabbit breeding: the visionary project of Julien Bousiquier  
Julien Bousiquier and his partner have undertaken the outdoor breeding of the Lapin-Chèvre rabbit, a rare local breed in Haute-Vienne. Members of the Association of Organic Rabbit Breeders of France and the “Welcome to the Farm” network [“Bienvenue à la ferme”], they are keen to introduce as many people as possible to their environmentally responsible breeding methods.  The only French rabbit breeders qualified for the Organic Agriculture label of the Collège Culinaire de France, their objective is to spread their environmentally responsible breeding methods and promote the further incorporation of rabbit meat into the offerings at local restaurants in a 30 km radius around their farm. 

The project:  Developing the Lapin-Chèvre Rabbit club in order to strengthen the genetic monitoring of the breed and ensure its survival. Creating and developing a Lapin-Chèvre Rabbit breed conservancy and a breeders’ union. 
Award amount: €10,000 

Project initiated by: Julien BOUSIQUIER, breeder 

City: Flavignac (87230) 

 3rd Prize: The Belle-Île Sheep La Houblonnière de Lezerzot (the Lezerzot Hopyard) – (Côtes-d’Armor, Bretagne) 

Breton hops help save the region’s most endangered sheep breed  
Anaïs Langlais and Antoine Floury launched their business in 2018 with two innovative ideas: cultivating organic hops in Brittany and using their flock of Belle-Île sheep for leaf thinning. This initiative contributes to the preservation of the region’s most endangered Breton sheep breed, which only numbers 700 individuals. Registered as members of the Belle-Île ram nursery for the preservation of the breed, the two breeders not only supply hops to local brewers but also work to grow their sheep herd, promote the direct sale of lambs for local distribution, and build partnerships with educational institutions to organize tours of their farm.  

The project:  Increasing the herd to promote the breed and raise awareness of its exceptional meat. Creating new fenced plots to encourage rotation and prevent parasitism. 
Award amount: €7,000 

Project initiated by: Antoine FLOURY and Anaïs LANGLAIS, La Houblonnière de Lezerzot 
City: Brélidy (22140) 
Website 

“At Ceva Santé Animale, we are committed to supporting all forms of sustainable agriculture in order to feed the planet, including alongside breeders and entities working to safeguard endangered breeds, which we are delighted to honor with this award. It is a real source of pride for all our employees to enable the development of such initiatives in the service of biodiversity and the environment, in a very concrete illustration of the One Planet pillar of our Purpose. ” 
Dr. Marc Prikazsky, CEO, Ceva Santé Animale   

“The mission of the Fondation du Patrimoine is to protect our heritage in its entirety, and animal biodiversity is an essential part of that. Local agricultural breeds are representatives of a unique genetic heritage, and they have an important part to play in the preservation of French rural landscapes. That’s why we are so proud to have provided support over the past 12 years for projects that help safeguard and enhance this common heritage as part of sustainable agriculture projects.” 
Alexandre Giuglaris, Director General of the Fondation du Patrimoine   

Further information: 

– List of winners from previous editions: Click HERE 

– Royalty-free visuals available on request or for download: Click HERE 

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