Frédéric Chabert, Grand Mas du Roy:

France: Organic market penalized by the closure of restaurants and communities

Based in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) and managed by Frédéric Chabert, Grand Mas du Roy specializes in a clean, organic production: apples, pears, pomegranates and olives. Peaches and nectarines will soon join the range with planting planned for November of this year.

Apple tree flowers (photos: Grand Mas du Roy)

2nd campaign in organic production
It is the second campaign in organic production for Grand Mas du Roy after converting to organic farming in 2016 on their site of about 50 hectares in the Camargue. With 35 hectares of apples, the farm offers the traditional Golden, Gala, King of the Pippins, Elista, Akane and Granny, but the company wants to stand out and develop niche varieties such as the Dalinette, Chanteclerc…. It is currently expanding to wholesale markets and specialized stores.

As for the pears, Grand Mas du Roy offers the Guyot, Harrow Love, Cascade and Williams (green and red), an orchard initially planted for direct sales. The company has a storage capacity of 500 tons at normal cold temperatures which allows it to sell both during the season and off-season, in November, December and January.

Williams pears (photos: Grand Mas du Roy) 

Since its organic conversion, the farm has been able to pack its merchandise on site. “We have acquired a small calibrator so we can prepare crates or trays for collective catering,” explains Frédéric Chabert.

On the right: packaging room (photos: Grand Mas du Roy) 

New focus on the pomegranate, with a surface area of about 5 hectares, for the marketing of fruits for consumption.

Organic pomegranates (photos: Grand Mas du Roy)

Difficult market for the organic sector
A great advantage of the farm is that it can store its products in cold storage, but the pandemic has impacted the organic market. “The difficulty for the organic segment is that the volumes are small.” The demand is good but the sanitary crisis has shaken the organic market. “The production took place around the same time in all regions, with normal volumes, but restaurants and communities are closed, which has disorganized and therefore penalized the organic market.”

Family business created in 1978, Grand Mas du Roy was taken over in 2004 by Frédéric Chabert. The products are sold via shippers and wholesalers, mainly at Rungis, Châteaurenard and Perpignan but also via direct sales at the farm and on producer markets. A biodynamic agricultural project is also being considered, as well as a diversification of the aromatic herb segment.

For more information: 
Frédéric Chabert
Grand Mas du Roy
Phone: 04 90 96 53 79 

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