Jean-Baptiste Pinel, general manager of kiwifruit company Primland, said France has had a lucky year, avoiding poor climatic conditions that brought down kiwifruit output in the rest of the region. A rainy spring and dry summer has brought quality, medium-sized fruit.
"We’re going to have the same volume as last year, maybe a little more, because France was not affected by weather. It’s pretty interesting this year because other European countries were affected by various climate problems, so they have less kiwi production. We have a good volume; it’s good for us," Pinel said.
"When there’s a market with less volume, the prices go up a bit. So, us having the same volume with the prices more firm, it’s good for producers."
Pinel said the kiwifruit market in France currently has a void, with production falling short of demand. This bodes well for Primland, which began sales for the season near the end of September.
The company expects to begin exports to the foreign market in November, with about 20% of its production going to countries all over the world.
Despite steep competition from countries like Chile, for example, Pinel said that France has an advantage thanks to experience.
"In France, we're more than 30 years old, so we have experience that lets us give a high quality kiwifruit. The most important point is the Oscar kiwi, the kiwifruit we sell which is of high quality. It lets us leave our clients satisfied," Pinel said.
This year, the company celebrates 20 years of selling kiwifruit to Asia and currently accounts for 57% of the fruit in the region, including 66% in Hong Kong and China.
Pinel explained that France's kiwifruit-producing region near to the Atlantic Ocean provides good conditions to produce sweet, consistent fruit.