With the arrival of the nice weather and the Easter week, more and more consumers are turning to the red fruits. According to Mickael Bazile from Sacfel, the conditions on the strawberry market are favorable. “The offer is quite well adapted to the current demand. This week, trade is a little more dynamic than usual. The promotional actions structure and energize the demand. The organization of the offer is crucial.”
Nevertheless, the volumes sold are about the same as for the other weeks. “Like in the other weeks of our production peak, we are selling approximately 250-300 tons a week. In spite of these big volumes, we cannot serve any new clients. Our strawberries are reserved for the clients that have been following us since the beginning of the season.”
Annually, Sacfel markets about 3,500 tons of strawberries. The company offers the Gariguette, Ciflorette, Charlotte, Murano, Clery and the Dream.
For a tasty strawberry of good quality
“From the start, our philosophy has been to offer a tasty strawberry of good quality. Under the ‘Marianne’ brand, we want to promote the expertise of our producers. The strawberry is a highly fragile product, with a very short shelf-life. It is therefore necessary that the implemented crop protection be effective to maximize the life of the product. We chose not to commit to the ZPR (zero pesticide residue) approach because it represents a high risk for our producers and we do not want to put them in danger by having them commit to this type of approach. In the French legal framework, it is already complicated to ensure good yields for the producers and impeccable quality for the consumers. On the other hand, we turned to a HEV level 3 certification for the farms, a global agro-environmental approach and a step further towards a more environmentally-friendly agriculture.”
A hyperlocal and family approach
Founded in 1976, the company is based in Aiguillon, southwestern France. Sacfel commercializes the strawberries of more than 30 producers located at a maximum distance of 6.2 miles from the factory. 98% of the strawberries are sold in supermarkets. All the Sacfel strawberries are grown above ground under shelter, or in greenhouses that are heated (mainly with biomass). Cultivating above ground reduces water consumption by 75% and offers employees better working conditions than underground cultivation.
The family business has been managed by Eric Bazile since 2005. Mickael joined his father at the company in 2017 after working as a buyer for the Pomona group.
At Sacfel, the season starts at the beginning of March and ends in November for the Charlotte or Murano varieties, which can flower again and give more fruits within the same vegetative cycle.
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