Hugo Mestre represents the 4th generation at Mesfruits. The company located in the south of France specializes in apples and pears. After studying in Toulouse and in the Netherlands, Hugo did some internships in several countries (Italy, New-Zealand and Argentina). He then joined the family business last April. His first mission was to get Mesfruits certified HEV at level 3.
The Mestre family runs 400 hectares of orchards, and also stores, packs and markets the fruits of its 90 partner-producers. Mesfruits first converted its own orchards to HEV. “We are currently working on getting our partner-producers certified, who can sometimes view certifications as constraints. The market gets more and more demanding each year. It is therefore necessary to motivate them and to guide them in those steps.”
HEV, the unifying label
According to Hugo, HEV is a label that reassures both clients and consumers. “It is a societal certification which commits us to a sustainable mode of production. The certification was put in place by the Ministry of Agriculture. It concerns all productions: its broad spectrum will meet the expectations of the consumers.”
The development of organic production
“Our 20 ha of Story apples and the orchards of our producers now represent 150 ha of orchards that are either organic or in the process of conversion. We focus mainly on the varieties which are resistant to scab. The Story apples, very well adapted to the Mediterranean climate and planted three years ago, will reach their full potential at the next harvest.” Hugo adds that the main concern with organic production is to find land to plant the trees.
Mesfruits' history by Hugo Mestre
“Mesfruits was founded by my great-grandfather who settled in Vignères in 1924, a small village near Cavaillon. He then started producing melons and selling them in Paris. After the melon, he went on to vines, but the frost in the winter of 1956 destroyed the production. That is when my grandfather joined the company. As a tree grower, he was selling fruit trees to producers of the region. He then created his own apple and pear orchards. My father Jacques and my uncle François also joined the company. They developed their orchards, the packing station and the trade.”
Today, Mesfruits is still specialized in apples and pears. The packing station has always been located in Cavaillon. “With two pre-calibration units, cold rooms for long-term storage and 15 packing lines, we are able to offer our products all year round.”
Besides the French market, Mesfruits also sells a large part of its products in Germany, Spain and Great-Britain.
For more information: