It has been three years since Didier Miollan, president of Vergers du Sud, took over the Soldive group. Managing farms located in four countries, the company is able to offer melons 10 months out of 12. “We have 1,500 hectares of melons and six packaging stations in France (1,050 ha), Spain (320 ha), Morocco (120 ha) and Senegal (100 ha). We sell exclusively what we produce. Our model is 100% integrated, since we manage all operations from production to packaging and marketing.”
Soldive sells its melons essentially on the French market. Currently, the company offers yellow Charentais melons from Senegal. The season started in December and will end in April. The Moroccan origin will follow from April to May, then Spain from May to June, and finally France from June until September.
“For two years, we have also been producing melons in January and February. Before, we were offering only melons from Senegal during the winter holidays and in March-April. We preferred the yellow rather than the green Charentais melon, although it is more fragile to export. But in terms of taste, it is one step higher than the others. This year, the Senegalese campaign came a little earlier because of the high temperatures in the country. In terms of quality, we had a good sugar level,” explains Didier.
Melon consumption in the winter in France remains marginal, but the volumes begin to increase from March. “The melon is starting to find its place. Temperatures are expected to rise in the next two weeks and, with the melon being a climate-dependent product, we hope that consumption will follow.”
For more information:
SOLDIVE Les Vergers du Sud
1 Chemin Mas de Campagne, 30900 Nîmes
Phone: +33 (0)18.104.22.168.10