All news

Terracoopa, an entrepreneur collective committed to the environment

Information updated on 24/03/20

The Montpellier cooperative Terracoopa unites farmers, landscapers, and artisans in the food sector. They share resources and knowledge to support good ecological practices and organic production as employees or when testing out new ideas.

Joseph Le Blanc, gérant de Terracoopa, au domaine de Viviers. @bastien defives

Joseph Le Blanc, director of Terracoopa, at the Viviers estate.

Among the cooperatives supporting business activities and employment in France, Terracoopa is one of the few dedicated to farming, landscaping, and exclusively organic food production. Terracoopa also provides consulting, training, and other services in these sectors. Each entrepreneur starts with a testing phase. When their activity level is high enough, they can become an employee or partner in the structure. Out of a total of 65 people, about half are salaried employees at this time.

“The purpose is to pool management, assistance for entrepreneurs, and production means,” explains Joseph Le Blanc, director of Terracoopa. That enables people to pursue their professional activity under the best possible conditions and offer higher quality products and services than if they were alone.”

The “collective state of mind, resource sharing, and mutual assistance” is particularly appreciated by Frédéric Roger, an organic market farmer at the Viviers estate, where Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole leases ten hectares to the cooperative. Seven farmers currently share greenhouses, irrigation infrastructure, and farm machinery. They will soon be joined by an eighth farmer. While each one takes care of their own production and sells via direct-to-table channels their own way, they nonetheless share thinking about expertise and innovations.

“We created a small network of market gardeners. We get together once a month to talk about our practices. My focus is to work towards gardening in living soil,” says Frédéric Roger.

Crealead and Adear, co-founders of Terracoopa

Terracoopa, which generates sales revenue of one million euros and attracts twenty new entrepreneurs each year, was originated by three co-founders: agronomist Joseph Le Blanc (who led the project), Crealead (a Montpellier business and employment cooperative), and Adear Languedoc-Roussillon (association for the development of agricultural and rural jobs). In 2012, they founded the unique Terracoopa structure, for which “we still handle management and accounting, while also providing our support in terms of training and driving the network,” highlights Frédéric Sanchez, CEO of Crealead.

Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole provided support for Terracoopa by allowing it to use of part of the Viviers estate and by providing a subsidy to Crealead. The initiative is in line with Montpellier Métropole policy to promote agroecological transition and sustainable food supply, as well as its desire to support all those who wish to take an alternative approach to entrepreneurship.
There are 0 commentaires on this page