Major Ingredient Players Unite to Support Sustainable Farming

Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, a beet sugar producer, BENEO, a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients, and Puratos, a global leader in bakery, patisserie, and chocolate ingredients, have joined forces to launch a pioneering Climate Farming Project. The ambitious initiative supports Belgian farmers in implementing more sustainable farming practices and promotes regenerative agricultural principles that contribute to enhancing soil health and reducing environmental impact.

Addressing climate change and ensuring resilient farming practices are crucial to meet the demands of future generations. The project partners recognize that these efforts require collaboration between the agricultural sector and the food industry. Empowering farmers through training and stimulating the exchange of knowledge are key components of this joint commitment.

The project is already underway and will run until 2025, involving 15 pilot farms across Belgium. Together, they will cultivate sugar beet, wheat, and chicory according to various regenerative farming methods in an area equivalent to the size of more than 1,100 soccer fields.

Throughout the project, farmers will work on specific farming measures. This includes strategies such as reducing mineral nitrogen fertilization and pesticide use through more organic means and enhancing biodiversity by planting flower strips and hedges next to the fields. Improving the biomass of cover and catch crops that are planted after the main crop harvest will also reduce soil erosion and enhance soil fertility and biodiversity in agroecosystems. In addition, it will aim to reduce the tillage and soil work to different degrees as a measure to combat erosion. These efforts are supported by the localized application of mineral fertilizers, the use of organic fertilizers, biopesticides, and the early sowing of multi-species catch crops.

At the outset, the Climate Farming Project engaged in a comprehensive diagnostic phase using a farm assessment tool called Greencard. This initial evaluation was crucial in setting measurable objectives and selecting appropriate regenerative agriculture practices, which could then be implemented in subsequent phases. The results can be used to expand these practices to other farmers working with BENEO and Raffinerie Tirlemontoise.

Fabrice Flamend, a farmer from Eghezée, Belgium, and member of the Climate Farming Project, shares his perspective: “It is clear that the agricultural sector must move towards a more regenerative approach. While there are many ideas on how to achieve this, involving farmers and their expertise from the field in these discussions is vital. We need to uncover feasible techniques where factors such as soil condition, crops, equipment, and profitability can be taken into account. This is why I am excited to be part of the Climate Farming Project. It provides a platform to exchange know-how and experience between farmers, and the companies that process our crops. Through the Climate Farming Project, we can work together on solutions that will future-proof agriculture.”

Through this partnership, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, BENEO, and Puratos underscore their shared commitment to sustainable farming practices and the pursuit of innovative solutions, all while respecting the needs of farmers and future generations.

About Raffinerie Tirlemontoise:

Established in 1836, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise (RT) is a leading beet sugar producer in Belgium and a market leader, proudly part of the Südzucker Group. Renowned for its innovative sugar production techniques and dedication to sustainable farming practices, RT manufactures both industrial and retail products under the brands Tiense Suiker and Candico, serving a global market. RT prioritizes waste reduction by effectively valorizing all by-products, mainly for agricultural use. The company operates sites in Belgium (Tienen, Wanze, Longchamps, Merksem, Oostkamp) and the Netherlands (Wijchen), employing around 640 people. For further information, visit

 About BENEO:

BENEO has long-term experience in developing and producing plant-based functional ingredients from natural sources for the food, feed and pharmaceutical industries. By supporting health and optimising taste and texture, they help improve the nutritional and technical properties of a wide variety of products. Through a unique chain of expertise, BENEO offers customers advice and inspiration on new product ideas that support a healthy lifestyle in a holistic way. Formed in 2007, and member of the Südzucker Group, BENEO is active in over 80 countries, employs more than 1000 people and has six state-of-the-art production sites in Belgium, Chile, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands that deliver high-quality ingredients at all times. For further information, visit

 About Puratos:

Puratos is an international group, which offers a full range of innovative food ingredients and services for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. It serves artisans, retailers, industrial and food service companies in over 100 countries around the world. Its headquarters are located in Belgium, where the company was founded in 1919. Puratos believes that food has extraordinary power in lives and does not take such a responsibility lightly. This is why it aims to help customers be successful with their business, by turning technologies and experiences gathered from food cultures around the world into new opportunities. With them, it moves the planet forward by creating innovative food solutions for the health and well-being of people everywhere. For further information, visit


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