“We don’t exploit the full potential of the Charentais melon on export markets”

“The Charentais melon is a typical French fruit. It has an intense fragrance and is tastier than the melons from South-America, but at the same time it's more fragile,” says Pascal Sauvêtre from Soldive. “The South-American melons last for two or three weeks after harvest, while the normal shelf life of the Charentais melon is limited to one week. This makes it difficult to export them.” For this reason Soldive moved a small part of its production to Senegal. “The tropical climate enables us to harvest all-year-round and thanks to this, we could do a lot of technical research. The shelf life of our melons has already improved.” 

Pascal (left) with his colleague Yannick Diet

“We are the only French company that offers the melon out of season. Our goal is to increase our export. In the summer the French consume a lot of melons, but during the winter months consumption is very low. Therefore we need to develop a market outside France.” Soldive already exports the Chartentais melon to Singapore, Dubai, Italy, Swiss, Belgium and Germany. “The Charentais is known as an excellent product and is especially valued by the specialized retail. The demand keeps growing.”

The Charentais melon is produced on a large scale in France. To the regret of Pascal, it is very difficult to cooperate while promoting of the melon abroad. The reason? French Producers do not always agree on the name of the melon. “Unfortunately French producers that aren’t located in the Charentes region all try to rename the product, for example by calling it the Cavaillon melon. This does not make things easier. Abroad the melon is known as the Charentais melon, which is the real and oldest name. We try to promote the product in Senegal, Morocco and the rest of Europe. Because of the disagreement we have to do this individually, while all producers could enlarge their potential market if we would cooperate more.”

Soldive was founded in 1963 and has produced the Charentais melon ever since.

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