The Eco-responsible Orchards label is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. A press conference organized on May 18th by ANPP and the PDO Peaches and Apricots of France was the opportunity to look back at its creation and objectives, reveal its new communication strategy for 2021 as well as to assess the impact of the frost.
First of all, a reminder of the apricot harvest predictions presented on May 4th. The French apricot sector is severely impacted by the frost episodes of April 6th to 8th since the deficit announced for the French production is around 60-70%, which is 30 to 40% of harvest. In Europe, this year’s harvest will only be 370,000 tons compared to the usual 580,000 tons. It is the lowest harvest in 30 years. Some work was therefore done with the distribution sector (wholesalers, retailers…) in order to adapt the specifications to allow more flexibility and tolerance regarding the fruit with defects.
Peaches and nectarines: less severe losses than for apricots
The European predictions for peaches and nectarines will be revealed in detail on Tuesday, May 25th, and in the meantime, provisional figures have been established for the French production. The losses are estimated between 30 and 40%, with a deficit that is more marked for nectarines and a regular decrease throughout the season, contrary to apricots. The impact is not as severe as for apricots, which are more fragile than peaches and more present in the regions most affected by the cold.
Harvest hypotheses for apples and pears
Regarding apples and pears, some producers have lost their entire harvest while others are still hoping for a (quasi-)normal harvest, but it is still too early to make accurate predictions. While waiting for more precise information on volume and quality, some hypotheses have been formulated.
For pears, the production potential is 160,000 tons. The harvest should reach 128,000 tons with a 20% loss, and 112,000 tons with a 30% loss. France is not self-sufficient in pears. 100,000 tons are imported each year to supply the market. With identical import predictions, between 214,000 and 230,000 tons of pears are expected. According to the average of the past 3 years, the French market absorbs nearly 200,000 tons of pears and 16,000 tons go to processing, which makes a need for 218,000 tons. (Pear exports remain marginal and can be used as an adjustment variable). Depending on the scenarios presented, the French pear production should still be able to manage the market.
For apples, the production potential is 1,700,000 tons. The harvest should reach 1,360,000 tons with a 20% loss, and 1,190,000 tons with a 30% loss. According to the average of the past 3 years, nearly 850,000 tons of apples are needed for the French fresh market and 300,000 tons for the industry, which makes a total of 1,158,000 tons, and 400,000 tons for export.
The lower production potential should be able to cover the needs of the French market without having to resort to exports. The analysis of the first trends in figures will be available in June.
As the first fruit and vegetable label, Eco-responsible Orchards represents 38,000 hectares of orchards, 1,783 committed producers for the 2020 harvest, and a production potential of 1,000,000 tons of apples, 57,000 tons of pears, 150,000 tons of peaches and nectarines and 75,000 tons of apricots. The objective to obtain the High Environmental Value certification for 50% of the eco-responsible orchards in 2018 was exceeded for some fruit and is about to be achieved for others. The goal is now to reach 100% by 2029. If the Eco-responsible Orchards certification is the “technical driving force” for the adoption of good practices, allowing producers to meet societal expectations, the HEV certification helps “measure their efficiency and confirm the work accomplished.”
On the initiative of the Eco-responsible Orchards label, ANPP, followed by the PDO Peaches and Apricots of France, are presenting a new communication strategy this year, conducted jointly with the aim of obtaining greater visibility among consumers and developing the label through sponsorship operations on French TV channels, actions on social networks and in stores, as well as through various events (Open Orchards, Agricultural Show, SIVAL, MEDFEL).
Presentation by Daniel Sauvaître president of the National Apple and Pear Association (ANPP), Bruno Darnaud president of the PDO Peaches Nectarines and Apricots or Peaches and Apricots of France, Raphaël Martinez director of the PDO Peaches Nectarines and Apricot, Régine Duclos head of relations with distribution for ANPP, Xavier Le Clanche head of VE approach at ANPP, Sandrine Gaborieau head of communication for VE at ANPP, and Josselin Saint-Raymond director of ANPP.
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