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France: Rough start to apple export season

France: Rough start to apple export season

True to the conventional wisdom in France, that a bad end to the stonefruit export season is the precursor to a bad apple export season, French exporters have had difficulties with both commodities this year. Dealing with low prices and increased competition from other European countries shut out of Russia, Distrimex, a French exporter of apples and stonefruit, has tried to weather the current rough market. Rather than make a strong stand in the market and compete on price, they’re hoping prospects will improve in January, when suppliers have a better idea of their fruit stocks and better prices might be available.

“My view is that the apple season finished very bad last season, not just in France, but in all of Europe,” said Stephanie Bruno of Distrimex. “I think we have standard volume in France, but the market is stressed because of Russia closing their borders to European fruit, so people who don’t normally enter Europe are now in the European market.” That increased competition is making for low prices throughout the continent, with extra supplies from Poland and countries in Eastern Europe. Though it might be tempting to take a loss and go for those prices, the relatively stiff production costs Distrimex’s growers have means they must be patient.


Stéphanie Bruno in front of the new office in Montauban

“Because the last season finished badly, producers are stressed and eager to sell, and that can sometimes lead to problems in the market,” explained Bruno. Amid that flurry of selling, it will be hard for the majority of Europe’s brokers to hang back on the amount of fruit they wish to move. For that reason, Bruno thinks prices will remain as they are or get lower until at least January. It’s then, at the season’s midpoint, that exporters will have an opportunity to assess their supplies of fruit and adjust accordingly. By then, relations between Russia and the European Union could improve and the current ban on European fruit could be lifted. Until then, Bruno said they’ll try to wait out the situation.

“Poland is flooding Europe with apples right now, and there will be sharp competition in about two weeks,” said Bruno. “For the moment, we don’t want to fight for those low prices. If we fight, the market will be more stressed and, in the end, it will be more difficult. It’s better to leave and come back later.” That sound, cautious approach has been a hallmark of Distrimex for their four decades of existence. Bruno explained that they have a diverse set of markets and a measured approach to expansion in order to mitigate the risks that are inherent to the fresh produce trade. They recently opened new offices in different parts of France in order to have access to fruit during a greater part of the year. That will help them appeal to more buyers, who are increasingly concerned with getting year-round supplies of fruit, and that access to a wider pool of buyers means they can ensure they’ll find a home for all of the fruit their growers provide.

“Producers don’t want partnerships where you just take one size, they want you to take all sizes,” said Bruno. “You have to have a market for small, medium and large fruit. You can’t just be dedicated to buying and selling – you have to be involved in production, with the customer, in after-sale service. The business has really evolved.” This year, it might be tougher to find a home for their apples, regardless of size. But Bruno is optimistic the market will improve.

“French apples have a good reputation, so we have that benefit,” said Bruno. “We just hope that in January the stocks will be clear of a lot of the fruit that’s in Europe right now.”

For more information:
Stéphanie BRUNO
Distrimex
Tel: + 33 (0)5 63 63 83 08
Cell: + 33 (0)7 88 21 19 95
Fax: +33 (0) 4 90 89 15 03
[email protected]
www.distrimex.fr

Publication date: 9/19/2014


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France to strengthen controls on Spanish horticultural exports

France to strengthen controls on Spanish horticultural exports

After the French Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, announced he would “intervene” after meeting with representatives of the major agricultural unions and fruit and vegetable organisations, a statement from his department has pointed out that “controls will be strengthened” on both trucks and markets, in particular to make sure they carry order forms with the agreed price. So far the Minister has announced that in the last two weeks 150 trucks have been controlled and 10 violations have been detected which “shall be punished.” 

This strengthening in the controls of imported fruits and vegetables arrives in response to protests from producers about the arrival of goods at lower prices, particularly from Spain. 

Le Foll, who met at the ministry with the main agricultural unions and fruit and vegetable organisations, stated that the price gap “is not justified” and affirmed that he will intervene.

Le Foll reminded that on 21 July the authorities launched a campaign on French television to promote the consumption of local fruits and vegetables. He also brought attention to a “common action between Spain, Italy, Greece and France asking the European Commission to consider measures for the withdrawal of a production that now comes to disturb the overall balance of the market.” 

The main French sectorial organisations (FNSEA, JA, FNPF) have complained that they have to deal with “unusually high import volumes of fruits and vegetables at prices that harm the French market” and lead to unfair competition. 

According to his argument, “French products are subject to much stricter social and environmental rules than those of its neighbours.”

Source: Hortoinfo

Publication date: 8/15/2014


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Over half of cherry harvest lost in France

Over half of cherry harvest lost in France

At the end of June the strong rain damaged Rousoux Plants cherry production in Berloz.  Over half of the harvest has been lost as the cherries full of water exploded.  “We had 60mm of rain within a few hours” says Nicolas Goffin.  

With no way of selling the cherries they are either left on the tree or the ground.  “We must have harvested 30-40% of our total harvest”.  With damaged strawberries they must sort through them at harvest and manual labour is expensive.  “When all is well, depending on their status, a person costs €8-10 an hour and a good picker can do 15kg an hour, so there there is a way of earning a living.  But as soon as they must start selecting, they are twice as slow and pick 2kg an hour, it is no longer possible”.  Following the first small harvest the Goffins have decided to stop picking and to leave the fruits to rot on the trees.  Nicolas Goffin says that “If they are not good, then it is pointless as our reputation is founded on the quality of our products”.  

They could invest in an anti-rain cover, but this costs around €40,000-70,000 /ha.  The Goffins own about 15 ha of sweet and acid cherry orchards, so it would be a heavy investment.  

Publication date: 8/8/2014


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Charentais currently coming from France

Charentais currently coming from France

Since 1981, when the French company Soldive started its diversification strategy, the firm has been able to supply melons 10 out of 12 months of the year. At the moment, Soldive is supplying melons of French origin from four production sites: Montpellier (34), Royan (17), Brie (79), and Chinon (37).

The melons currently on offer, which are of the yellow Charentais variety, will be supplied until mid-October. The fruit is characterised by a good Brix level and is offered in two ranges: Soldive Standard and Premium Tradition.

The firm also offers organic melons during the French campaign; it has good volumes available, thus enabling it to sell them across the EU. In the organic market, Soldive focuses on count 9 (+1350g) and count 11 (1150-1350g) melons.

For more information:
Audrey Brizard
Soldive
Tel: +33-549-67-44-01
Fax: +33-549-67-43-56
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 8/1/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Mild winter effects salad market in France

Mild winter effects salad market in France

Soleil Roy produces salad over the winter, from the end of October through to  April.  Jean-Louis Sylvestre says that this season was ”not good due to the mild winter” which meant that there was an abundance of produce growing in the North of Europe and lack of demand for salads usually grown in the milder climates. 


They export their salads all over Northern Europe, to countries such as Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Scandinavia as well as countries in Eastern Europe such as  Poland and the Czech Republic.  Mr Sylvestre estimates that 70% of their salad production is exported whilst the rest is for national consumption. 

 

Whilst Soleil Roy grow salads in the Languedoc-Roussillon, ”we are producing more and more in Spain, we started with 25% and now 75% of our salad production is in Spain”.  Their salads are grown in both greenhouses and outdoor.  Varieties include butterhead lettuce, batavia, red varieties, fine frisée and escarole.  

Salad is an important product for the company, but Mr Sylvestre says that it is less and less profitable due to increasing production prices.

Soleil Roy International

Marché International St. Charles

129, Rue de Murcia

BP 5406 – 66034 Perpignan Cedex

Publication date: 7/15/2014
Author: Emma Tandy
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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“Still plenty of growth opportunities for soft fruit in France”

The firm was founded in the early 90′s as a local production company and now offers year-round supply with a full range of soft fruit, from strawberries to blueberries. “We have gradually become bigger, with production volumes growing every year. We currently have 70 producers all over France and we deliver our own produce until late October. We also import fruit from the best production areas in South America, Spain and Benelux. We have our own growing facilities in Morocco and Portugal to ensure that our customers’ demand is covered all year round.”

“Besides fresh produce, we also process fruit in our own plant, manufacturing all kinds of products, from coulis to puree. Products are mainly marketed under the brand ‘Les Fruits Rouges de l’Aisne’. “We chose this name because of the fruit’s colour and delicious aroma.”


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“Still plenty of growth opportunities for soft fruit in France”

The firm was founded in the early 90′s as a local production company and now offers year-round supply with a full range of soft fruit, from strawberries to blueberries. “We have gradually become bigger, with production volumes growing every year. We currently have 70 producers all over France and we deliver our own produce until late October. We also import fruit from the best production areas in South America, Spain and Benelux. We have our own growing facilities in Morocco and Portugal to ensure that our customers’ demand is covered all year round.”

“Besides fresh produce, we also process fruit in our own plant, manufacturing all kinds of products, from coulis to puree. Products are mainly marketed under the brand ‘Les Fruits Rouges de l’Aisne’. “We chose this name because of the fruit’s colour and delicious aroma.”


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France: “Herbs are currently a hot item”

“The herbs market is a real niche market,” she continues. “But there are many players, so you have to differentiate yourself, also through the packaging. We started exporting three years ago, which is not easy to do, considering it is a fresh product. Nevertheless, we have observed an increasing demand from various countries, especially from the UK, Ireland and Eastern European countries. In France we guarantee delivery within 24 hours and in the rest of Europe within 48 hours.” According to Adriana, it is difficult to compete in the export markets. “Here in France, for example, labour costs are higher than in Spain.”


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Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France

Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France
Yellow Charentais area increases in Spain


Production Morocco

The melon forecasts for Charentais from Morocco, Spain and France were presented at last week’s Medfel, Perpignan (France). Production of Charentais melons in Morocco covers 1560-1800 ha, of which 950-1,050 ha is in the Marrakech area.  The melon season begins at the end of February and lasts until April in Dakhla (260-300ha), followed by the start of greenhouse production in Agadir (350-450ha) and Marrakech at the end of March. Greenhouse harvest in Marrakech is slightly delayed this year.  Field crops are harvested from the 20th April for the yellow Charentais and the 25th April for the green, reaching it’s peak between the 5-15th May. There has been a slight drop in acreage in Dakhla this year and a continual decrease in Agadir.  Acreage remains stable in Marrakech and Kenitra despite a decrease in small producers.  The season is good this year with no weather problems.


Production Spain

Harvest in Spain begins between April-May in Almeria, in ‘competition’ with the Moroccan green Charentais, followed by May-July in Murcia-Malaga.  Yellow Charentais surface has increased in the Murcia-Malaga area and acreage reaches 2,500-2,600 ha (of which 500-600 ha are used for green Charentais).  Weather has been favourable and overall, crops are healthy.  Acreage remains stable in Almeria (especially that of greenhouse green Charentais) totalling 300-350 ha.  Volume increases between the 15-20th May through until the end of June with some continuing into July.  Crops are healthy with calibre varying depending on the plot.  


Production France

French melons are slightly early this year.  Melons from heated greenhouses were on the market at the start of May, followed by tunnels at the end of the month.  Charentais melon acreage in France totals 14,060 ha, of which 5,400 ha is in the South-East where the main production is under covers and tunnels (3,400 ha), followed by 1,350 ha in outdoor crops and 650 ha sheltered.   Favourable weather conditions mean that crops are healthy, about a week early at the moment, but to be confirmed depending on the weather over the second half of May.  Acreage has dropped slightly in the South-West to 3,500 ha (100 ha in large shelters, 1,500 ha under covers and tunnels, 1,900 ha outdoors) and to 4,900 ha in the Centre-West (30 ha in large shelters, 2,100 ha under covers and tunnels, 2,770 ha outdoors) but crops are healthy and volume could make up for the surface decrease.   The South-West and Centre-West have experienced good conditions, are slightly early but this could change depending on the weather over May and June.

Source: Medfel

Publication date: 5/20/2014


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Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

French cherries arrive 15 days earlier, with a crop of 33% higher than last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the beginning of May the crop estimates reach 51.800 ton. This is an increase of 33% compared to last year and 20% compared to the average of the last 5 years. However the Ministry also points out that the last 2 years crop were among the lowest.

In the three main regions (PACA, Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon), crops are slightly lower, especially in the south where other crops such as vineyards have replaced orchards. However, warm, dry weather conditions have been favourable to production, explaining the expected increase in harvest.

France is the fourth European producer of cherries, behind Poland, Italy and Hungary.

Publication date: 5/9/2014


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Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

French cherries arrive 15 days earlier, with a crop of 33% higher than last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the beginning of May the crop estimates reach 51.800 ton. This is an increase of 33% compared to last year and 20% compared to the average of the last 5 years. However the Ministry also points out that the last 2 years crop were among the lowest.

In the three main regions (PACA, Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon), crops are slightly lower, especially in the south where other crops such as vineyards have replaced orchards. However, warm, dry weather conditions have been favourable to production, explaining the expected increase in harvest.

France is the fourth European producer of cherries, behind Poland, Italy and Hungary.

Publication date: 5/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

French cherries arrive 15 days earlier, with a crop of 33% higher than last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the beginning of May the crop estimates reach 51.800 ton. This is an increase of 33% compared to last year and 20% compared to the average of the last 5 years. However the Ministry also points out that the last 2 years crop were among the lowest.

In the three main regions (PACA, Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon), crops are slightly lower, especially in the south where other crops such as vineyards have replaced orchards. However, warm, dry weather conditions have been favourable to production, explaining the expected increase in harvest.

France is the fourth European producer of cherries, behind Poland, Italy and Hungary.

Publication date: 5/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

Cherry crop 33% bigger than last year in France

French cherries arrive 15 days earlier, with a crop of 33% higher than last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the beginning of May the crop estimates reach 51.800 ton. This is an increase of 33% compared to last year and 20% compared to the average of the last 5 years. However the Ministry also points out that the last 2 years crop were among the lowest.

In the three main regions (PACA, Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon), crops are slightly lower, especially in the south where other crops such as vineyards have replaced orchards. However, warm, dry weather conditions have been favourable to production, explaining the expected increase in harvest.

France is the fourth European producer of cherries, behind Poland, Italy and Hungary.

Publication date: 5/9/2014


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France: Breton cauliflower season to end early

France: Breton cauliflower season to end early

Similar to other winter vegetables, the cauliflower season ‘wasn’t a good season at all, according to Mr Jacq from Pierre Jacq. Due to the mild winter, consumers were turning to salads and there was less demand for winter vegetables. “The prices paid to the producers weren’t right. The absence of winter meant that we had an important production faced with an average consumption.”  

The mild winter badly affected prices which were ”very bad for producers and it is not good for us either to work with low prices”.  Mr Jacq says that the price war between retailers in France means that they have to offer their products at the lowest possible price. The retailer is only interested in the ”low-priced raw product”. 

The cauliflower season will end early this year, ”we estimate that we have maximum one more month this season for the winter varieties. They will end on the 15th May at the latest but the largest part of the season will be over by the end of the month”.  

Breton cauliflower production is faced with competition throughout the winter from Spain and Italy – and even the South of France where production is increasingly present.  

However, Mr Jacq says that the largest threat to French production is to ”discourage French production” by paying such low prices. Yet he says that producers are not turning to other vegetables because cauliflower production is ”historic” in the region. ”Last winter was a good season, this year is very bad – but we can never predict the future”. He finishes by saying that ”it is mainly the weather which decides whether it will be a good season or not”, and who can predict the weather?!

For more information:
Pierre Jacq S.A.

Tel: +33 02 98 69 07 30
Fax : +33 02 98 69 26 35
Email: [email protected]
www.pierrejacq.com

Publication date: 4/18/2014


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PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


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France: Peak season for all Autumn vegetables

France: Peak season for all Autumn vegetables

Prince de Bretagne can offer a wide range in significant quantity. Cauliflower, broccoli, coloured cauliflower, artichokes, strawberries all are available in both quantity and quality.
 
Supplies of tomatoes are also large and the range remains at the same. The organic range is also available, with particularly strong supplies of shallots, cauliflower, broccoli.

For more information, please visit: www.princedebretagne-pro.com

Publication date: 10/9/2013


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France: Peak season for all Autumn vegetables

France: Peak season for all Autumn vegetables

Prince de Bretagne can offer a wide range in significant quantity. Cauliflower, broccoli, coloured cauliflower, artichokes, strawberries all are available in both quantity and quality.
 
Supplies of tomatoes are also large and the range remains at the same. The organic range is also available, with particularly strong supplies of shallots, cauliflower, broccoli.

For more information, please visit: www.princedebretagne-pro.com

Publication date: 10/9/2013


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