20 April 2016

Responding to the new responsibilities created by a significant global increase in the demand for food, the ambition of InVivo is to invest in new outlets and to support efforts to bring French produce to international markets. Against this backdrop, CEO Thierry Blandinières visited Singapore between 11 and 17 April 2016 in order to establish business and corporate contacts. 

This visit was an opportunity to focus more particularly on the support provided by the InVivo platform in Singapore to cooperatives and regions in showcasing French products:

  • Taking advantage of the Voilha!* festival(15 April – 31 May 2016)  and the presence of the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes region.
  • With support from the group, looking at how to deploy a concept similar to the Maisons du Sud-Ouest France set up in China (promoting produce from south-western France), tailored to Singapore and South-East Asia.

Acclaim for French expertise in Singapore

“Singapore is a buoyant market for food products. Despite its area (714 km²) and population (5.4 million), it remains the most mature in South-East Asia, with a level of consumption that is continuing to rise,” says the French ambassador in Singapore.  

The reputation of French gastronomy and expertise are well established in the city-state, as illustrated by the following:

  1. France is the country best represented, after Italy, in terms of the number of restaurants (more than 180);

  2. French cuisine is celebrated by many Asian chefs. In the list of Asia’s best restaurants (latest international rankings published in “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”), Singapore is placed first with ten award-winning establishments. Among them, many chefs have close relations with France;

  3. The festival Voilah! is largely dedicated to France.

*This festival, organised by the French Embassy and the Institut Français, promotes French expertise in a wide number of areas, including culture, innovation, science, gastronomy and tourism. This second edition turns the spotlight on the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes region, France’s leading agri-food region. One of its objectives, through its involvement in this festival, is to extend the influence of regional and  ̶  more broadly  ̶  French gastronomy and culture across Asia. An objective fully supported by the InVivo group.

New outlets for agricultural cooperatives: the example of Zen-Noh

In Singapore, Thierry Blandinières also met Zen-Noh, the world’s leading agricultural cooperative, with which InVivo Trading already works in the grain sector. Zen-Noh recently opened its restaurant “KACYO”, the next logical step following the opening of over 50 restaurants in Japan. Through these initiatives, Zen-Noh is seeking to promote Japanese produce, quality and know-how around the world through direct contact with the end-consumer.

A model to be followed?

In any case, this example shows the potential of agricultural cooperatives and their capacity for diversification. Through their global presence and their ability to manage the value chain “from farm to fork”, they could become important standard bearers for their country’s expertise worldwide.

Who is Zen-Noh, the world’s leading agricultural cooperative?