France: "Cherry season might last longer this year”

It is the third week this year that Eric Tastayre, manager of the company Apifood, has sold the cherries of his producers under the brand Etamine, from a production “120% France and 200% Tarn-et-Garonne.” Eric explains how he slowly started with the Burlat 2 weeks ago, an early variety which ended last week. “We then continued with the firm flesh varieties like the Bigalise and Coralise, which are about to end. We are now starting the Folfer which will be in full swing this week. The Summit is also starting. We have a panel of varieties that are spread out through the month of June.”

“We harvest, sell and ship the same day”

Because the cherry is a fragile product, the associates of the Apifood Society want the entire morning harvest to be sold and shipped the same day. This way, the product is found the next day at the latest at wholesalers and retailers, and the harvest is subject to a strict quality control until it is delivered to the customer. “The quality and freshness of our cherries is an absolute priority. We want our clients to receive a live product, that is why there is no stock. We prefer selling the entire harvest the same day, even if it means making sacrifices, rather than storing at 46°F to sell the next day. In the afternoon, I find it important to be present when the batches are being prepared in order to check that they correspond to our customers’ expectations.”

 

Sales have been fluid since the beginning of the season. As for the quality, Eric has been satisfied so far. “Except for a bit of inconsequential rain on the Burlat variety, and some physiological falls on the Summit due to cooler temperatures, we did not have any specific problem related to the weather.”

Lower daily volumes and firm prices
Eric has the feeling that the season will be more spread out. “We have a big difference between the hill producers vs. those of the plains. Having worked with practically the same producers for the past 30 years, we know the sequence of the varieties and the harvest delays from one producer to another. And this year, the gap is much wider, with up to two weeks for a same variety, while we usually don’t exceed 4-5 days.”

“I think that the difference this year will be that we will have lower daily volumes, because we are currently at 70% of our usual volumes. However, we started a week earlier and I believe that we will end later, so the season will last longer. But the harvested volumes so far are identical to those of last year, which is rather positive for the producers, because prices are quite firm and vary very little. Prices usually drop after the Burlat, but they remain quite high at the moment, compared to previous years.”

For more information:
Eric Tastayre
Apifood
Phone: +33 5 63 20 22 50
Cell: +33 6 07 59 03 75
eric@apifood.com    
www.apifood.com   


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