The farm Alpilles Primeurs, located in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, is a producer of potted aromatic plants. The company only offers organic herbs. “The demand for organic herbs keeps growing, at the expense of the demand for conventional herbs. To make things easier, we chose to convert our entire farm to organic,” explains Charles Cavallini, quality manager of the company. “Despite the higher demand for organic herbs, organic products are not more promoted in terms of prices, which are the same as for the conventional products.” Alpilles Primeurs obtained the organic certification in 2011.
The marketing of the herbs takes place from early March until the end of December. For Alpille Primeurs, April and May are the most important months for marketing. “During these months, we have a lot of volumes available, and with the weather getting better, the demand for aromatic herbs grows.” 99% of the company’s herbs are sold on the French market for independent retailers, supermarkets, wholesalers and small local stores.
At the head of Alpilles Primeurs, Frédéric Marie (left), and his brother Jean-Paul Marie. In the middle: their father Pierre Marie.
Alpilles Primeurs has been certified HEV since 2019. According to Charles, the HEV certification is very complementary to organic production. “Organic concerns mainly the final product. HEV justifies good environmental practices.” All the herbs offered by Alpilles Primeurs come from their own production site, from sowing to marketing.
In 2020, Alpilles Primeurs decided to offer its herbs in a plastic pot made from recycled materials. It is 100% recyclable. “The pot is blue so it can be easily detected on the sorting lines,” adds Charles. Besides the pots, the company will also offer a 100% recycled and recyclable cover to its clients. “We want to promote the plastic that already exists and incorporate it within the system, instead of developing paper or wood packaging that consumes a lot of natural resources.”