“Sales are relatively slow at the moment. But the situation is essentially due to the weather conditions which are not favorable in France, or even Europe,” explains André Diogo, in charge of the Mighirian Frères site. Watermelons are indeed highly dependent on the weather. It only takes a heat spike at 86°F and we do not have enough merchandise, with 15 pallets to meet the demand. And the next day, the temperature drops to 59°F, and 2 pallets are too much.”
A well-balanced market
“We started to sell the first watermelons at the beginning of April, and the weather conditions were not favorable for a harvest of large production volumes. But in a way, since this weather also affects the sales, the market is balanced. In the end, there is enough merchandise to satisfy everyone, even if for this time of year, prices are relatively low in production.” But André thinks that the situation will quickly improve. “We will have normal temperatures for the season, which should give the market a boost. Last week, already, the pace seemed to pick up. I started increasing the volumes. If the weather is on our side, we can easily reach 50 to 70 pallets a week. But then, the production might struggle to keep up and prices will go up.”
“We work in partnership with the Bollo brand in Paris”
André has been working with the Spanish brand Bollo for a decade. “I went to solicit them myself, looking for a quality product. I found this watermelon while on holidays and I was truly satisfied. The brand is very present on the export market, on the Spanish and the French market. We work in partnership with the Paris market. It is a rather high-end product but with a good quality for its value.” The company also distributes oranges, lemons, grapefruit, as well as clementines, with or without leaves, also of the Bollo brand.
About the Mighirian Frères Blampin fruit group
André joined the company at the age of 18 as an order picker, and he is now in charge of the site. He is therefore very familiar with the family business that has been around since the Halles of Paris. The company’s flagship product remains the tomato, which represents 60 to 65% of the revenue. Since the end of 2016, the former managers, Mr Mighirian’s nephew and son-in-law, have retired. The company was then sold to the Blampin Fruits group, which owns 12 sites in France including Mighirian Frères, Blampin fruits imports, Kerleguer, Frugisol at Rungis, Bauza Rouen, Couton Tours, Blampin thermes Lyon, Blampin Marseille, Blampin Nice, Solor Perpignan, Favarel and Soulage Toulouse.