L’Ile d’Yeu is a small island on Atlantic Coast. Collective projects have been developed to increase local food production and better manage biowaste.
Resource management is crucial in this territory of 25km² and 4 870 inhabitants (30 000 in summer). Different projects have been developed in order to increase local food production and reduce and reuse waste locally to reduce maritime transport of waste and resources.
"Terres Fert’île" (fertile island) project started in 2014 in order to increase local food production. Partners include city council, local farmers, and citizens through local organizations. Strategic focus has been put on identifying obstacles and removing them.
Two main issues have been identified: lack of farming land and farmers’ concern about saturating local market
Actions have been deployed to provide new farming lands: identification of abandoned lands in agriculture-compatible areas, research of owners, clearing of wild lands… A call for candidates has been issued.
Other actions have focused on better understanding local market and on finding ways to increase outlet for local production. In particular, kitchens in schools and senior housing have been identified as potential partners and workshops have been organised in order to pinpoint how to promote a more important proportion of local production in their supplies.
Further on the bio-based circular economy, a program has been implemented to reduce and reuse organic waste. These actions range from reducing food waste to promoting composting. For example, green waste is transformed into compost with an accelerated process in a new facility.

Resources needed

Terres Fert’île
1 employee full time +volunteers
225 000€ over 5years
Waste reduction program (over 3years)
30 000€ communication&animations
100 000€ full-time employee (wages, utilities, transport&formation)
9 000€ supply for composting bins
Funds: French government, EU, Region, Municipality

Evidence of success

This practice focuses on precise and concrete problems: food production and waste management. Actions aimed at creating local activity and value.
Terres Fert’île:
- 15 000 m² of new farmland
- 4 new farming operations (+4 in project)
- 3 workshops for kitchen workers of school and senior housing restaurants
Waste reduction program :
- 30 workshops on composting, food waste and gardening
- More than 600 attendees
- Reduction of 7% of total waste shipped from the island (-31% house waste)

Difficulties encountered

Some solutions could not be implemented on the island because it is too small. Most of the actions required a lot of time spent by focused employees for the meeting of project teams. The awareness of the general public can be improved.

Potential for learning or transfer

Operations on waste reductions are not new but the specificities of the island can help other territories to find solutions to small-scale problems.
The Terres Fert’île initiative is a comprehensive project focusing on the problem of food production in a very small territory. The implication of all local actors (municipality, farmers, associations and volunteers) and the way they managed to work together can be an interesting example to study for similar projects.

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Main institution
Yeu Island Municipality
Pays de la Loire, France
Start Date
January 2014
End Date


Alexandre Morin Please login to contact the author.