France: Pink Lady production hit hard by spring frosts

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France: Pink Lady production hit hard by spring frosts

Though France suffered from successive frosts this spring affecting apple and pear producers, Blue Whale is forecasting an increase in organic and new varieties this season.

Lasting up to 15 nights, the frosts were fought with strong efforts from all those affected.

"Our forecast emphasizes disparities between producers that could not fight against the period of frost and producers that used all their energy to fight whatever the cost," Dina Abella from Blue Whale said.

"Those who had access to water were unquestionably able to protect their orchards. In some zones like the Alps where the frost was intense, up to -8 to -10 degrees Celcius, the production is significantly compromised," she said.

There is some good within this unprecedented situation, however, with heavier production following a light 2020 season.

"With the late flowering we can expect a good harvest, following 2020 which for us was an average harvest in particular against the Southwest rotation."

While the harvest of Gala and Fuji varieties "should be normal", Pink Lady has seen a "significant decrease of over 20 percent."

Blue Whale's production in organic is estimated to increase 20 percent and will introduce new varieties such as Blue Reine, Candine, Rockit and Envy.

The company shared it is worried that the frosts have had an impact on the size of the fruit, but see investments that have been made throughout the years will help to supply acceptable fruit.

Pear production will be significantly less at around 4,000 metric tons, according to Abella.

"For this new season were counting on the help of our customers to value our harvests when at their best in the interest of all Blue Whale producers. This way we will be able to provide the best support for their needs through the season."

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