As described by a recent Senate study, the ability to adapt shown by the agro-food sector since the mid-1960s will become even more necessary in the future as it will have to face up to major issues.

Although these issues will be many and varied, they make up a very uniform triptych in which each element depends on the other two. Thus the growing internationalisation of food trade, the enlargement of the European Union taking in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE) and future agreements concluded within the WTO will, for example, mean that variations in world food demand will be decisive for the development of the agro-food sector.

However, this increased internationalisation of trade also relates to new technologies, which will have a vital impact on the future of the agro-food sector. To take one example, we need only mention the case of biotechnologies and the new information and communication technologies (ITC) the consequences of which are considerable.

The last – although by no means least – of the challenges to which the agro-food industry must respond is that of food safety, food quality and the environment: Although it is true that these are demands which have been in evidence for a decade or so now, they will take on a whole new dimension over the next few years. Indeed, unless these demands are sufficiently taken on board, the internationalisation of the markets and the immediate dissemination of information will lead to immediate penalties not only on an economic and financial level, but also, lest we forget, in social terms for the company.

This means that it is essential for Sophia Conseil to meet demand from major agro-food industries. Upstream, we handle the design and simulation of processes, which also includes the dimensioning and commissioning of the equipment. At the same time as these operational initiatives, we support our partners as they work to improve their industrial performances by attaching growing importance to increasing the quality and safety of our clients’ end products. Our skills in the field of new technologies (e.g. RFID), applied to the issues faced by this sector, mean that Sophia Conseil is a key player in this market which has real potential for international growth.