France: Apple prices up significantly in 2015, says Blue Whale -

France: Apple prices up significantly in 2015, says Blue Whale

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France: Apple prices up significantly in 2015, says Blue Whale

French fruit exporter and apple grower Blue Whale is hopeful a great start to the second part of the apple season signals a solid winter ahead. Speaking with, commercial export director Marc Peyres talks about expectations and forecasts for the coming months.

"The quantities of good Gala have been lower this season in Europe, so we have managed to sell our crop quickly and with a better price," Peyres says. Apples - Blue Whale

"At the end of November, we are up in volume by 25% compared with last season and even more in terms of price.

“Royal Gala is our biggest variety, so we are very pleased with the situation. Last year the start was complicated with very low prices, but this year we are back to normal and even better than average. This is thanks to our location close to the Atlantic where we suffer less with weather conditions."

Aside from Royal Gala, Blue Whale's leading varieties include Cripps Pink (marketed as Pink Lady), Fuji, Ariane, Joya and Granny Smith, all grown in orchards across the Garonne Valley, Loire Valley and Rhone Valley.

"We are based in three very good areas in France and this is where these varieties grow the best because they are not too far south where the weather can get very hot, or too far north in the cold.

"They are some of the best places in Europe to grow these apple varieties."

Peyres believes if quality, sales and stable prices continue, this could be one of the best seasons in a decade.

"We are quite positive for the second part of the season and even the third part, as now our sales are running for at least 10 months of the year.

"Crop quality and weekly sales for most of our varieties are showing very positive prospects."

Focusing on territories that are already established

As brisk sales are expected to continue, Blue Whale is also working on developing the markets it already has rather than exploring alternatives.

Having said that, the company has been making efforts to break into the U.S. market, although there are many challenges due to strict protocols that make exports costly.

Last year one low-volume trial was carried out stateside, and there is another planned sometime soon in order to learn more about official procedures, but Peyres believes the U.S. market is currently too challenging.

"We are selling in more than 80 markets around the world now. Africa has been a very important market for us for a long time but I think it will still be a long time before it becomes a premium market for varieties, although we are happy to work in Africa.

"We have also been involved in trials to the U.S. where we selected small volumes of premium varieties for shipping. The cost of the protocol does not allow us to have good volumes, so the objective is to know all about the protocols, which if they remain the same as today, means the U.S. is practically a closed door for us."

Photo: Blue Whale 


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