The French kiwifruit harvest is in full swing. At SIKIG, sales will start in a week. “We are very happy with the quality. We are harvesting fruits with a high Brix. However, when it comes to quantity, the French are disappointed. All the production areas have fewer fruits than expected,” reports Pascale Begoulle of the SIKIG company.
Pascale says that there are different factors explaining the reduction in the volumes. “In some areas, the heat this summer is the main cause. In other areas, the pollination has not been extraordinary. There are also production areas that have suffered the impact of past floods. The soil is sometimes impoverished and the roots of the trees suffer.”
The small size of the French harvest mirrors the situation in Italy. “Given the good quality of the fruit and the limited volumes, prices will start at a higher level than last year, even though last year's volumes were also reduced and prices were high. There is already good demand. We feel that Zespri's stocks are running out and this should help us gain ground in the French market.”
Pascale adds that kiwifruit has become a very popular product because of the Covid-19 crisis. “Kiwifruit is a product with very high vitamin C content, which helps strengthen the immune system. Moreover, it is a local and very natural product. At the start of the lockdown in March / April, the demand skyrocketed. We are not counting on that for this campaign, but we believe that most consumers will try their best to consume healthy products. Despite the high prices, we are confident we'll manage to achieve good sales. We also hope that the prices will help cover the additional costs at the facilities. There are fewer volumes, so the cost per kilo is higher.”