Based in the French town of Châteaurenard, Copadel grows and sells, from its own production and in collaboration with other local producers from the Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse and Gard, 15,000 tons of fruit and vegetables per year: salads, asparagus, zucchinis, apricots, cherries, table grapes (Muscat of Hamburg, Alphonse-Lavallée for the black grape varieties, as well as some Danlas).
“We are fortunate to be able to cover the entire grape season from the end of June/beginning of July until December. Thanks to our warehouses in Châteaurenard and in the Luberon, we can have grapes late in the season, harvesting them until the month of October and marketing them until Christmas,” explains Jean-Christophe Bossu, manager of Copadel.
Currently in the middle of the salad campaign, with about 12 million heads per year and production between October and April, the company will soon start the asparagus campaign.
On the French market, Copadel mostly works with supermarkets (80% of its clients), but also with wholesalers and MIN markets such as Rungis and Lomme.
Copadel also exports to more than 25 countries including Germany, Switzerland and the UK, to wholesalers who supply the restaurant sector. The closure of restaurants and the near closure of borders as part of the measures to fight against Covid have complicated the activity. Additional challenge for exports to the UK with Brexit and the new trade arrangements coming into effect. “Brexit has made exports even more complicated.”
During the first lockdown, the company was able to benefit from the high demand for fresh products, but the second lockdown starting in October was, on the contrary, very calm. This winter, the season is quite average and prices are down. “At the moment, we are alright in terms of volumes but prices are very low. There is not much enthusiasm in the stores.”
Jean-Christophe Bossu, manager of Copadel
Created in 1993 by Claude Bossu, the company has been managed by his son, Jean-Christophe, since 2019. It has a team of 40 employees and a refrigerated warehouse of 2,500 m² to pack and store products.
Benefiting from the GlobalGAP and HEV certifications, Copadel has also been developing, for the past 2 year, an organic range in parallel to its conventional products and it has two own brands, “Nationale 7” for summer fruit and “Les 2 Marmots” for salads intended for export.