Great opportunities for French apples and kiwis in China

Representatives from the France were recently at China FVF to promote French products in China. François Lafitte president of GEFel said that France was already exporting apples and kiwifruit; about 10,000 and 8,000 tonnes respectively. Lafitte stated that the new season has kicked off with great opportunities. “Promotion here is done through a branch of Interfel, and we have used the opportunity to talk with officials and clients.”

Francoise Lafitte and Daniel Sauvaitre representing Interfel.

They have been shipping to China for the past four years, and according to François, “Chinese consumers like tasty apples and kiwifruit and they are happy with the quality of the fruit from southern France. The main apple brand is Blue Whale and for kiwi it is Oscar, but each fruit is also exported by other brands. With the situation in Russia, exporting to China has become a great strategy for us.”

The main apple varieties exported to China are the Royal Gala, Granny Smith and some Golden. “In January, we are starting a big promotional programme for apples and kiwifruit from France and we hope to double the volume we export here,” states Mr Lafitte.

As for kiwis, Primland ships only green varieties. “We are currently rebuilding the orchards with new Gold varieties that are much less sensitive to PSA and we hope to rebuild a strategy with Gold kiwi, but we will need 3 to 4 years before we are ready for that,” explains François.

The company also produces and exports kiwi berries; a berry with a shelf life of just two months, but which has reached great success in Hong Kong. François explains, “We were shipping in September and October and our clients told us that they wanted much more produce for the next season. It is an innovation and many are interested in tasting it.”

At the moment, Primland works with a variety coming from New Zealand, which François describes as 'very nice and tasty'. "Since 2005, we have invested more than a million Euro into it. This year, we have distributed kiwi berries in countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Italy, and we have started in Hong Kong and Canada.”

For more information:
Francois Lafitte
Tel: +33 600 58 04 36

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