From September 2022, the group of cooperatives Perle Union (as well as endive producers under the Perle du Nord brand) will launch “Maraîchers des Hauts-de-France”, the brand under which the group will sell its 35,000 tons of fruit and vegetables. This wide range includes over 30 different varieties including cabbage, onions and leeks, all grown either sustainably or organically.
“With this new brand, we want to promote our products regionally, where most of them are sold,” explains Olivier Hirel, head of the vegetable department at Perle Union. “This meets a strong consumer demand, and to get there, we must find the tools to identify them in the stores.”
The idea is to set up corners in supermarkets of the Hauts-de-France region that will promote local fruit and vegetables according to their seasonality. These corners will be set up by sector managers, together with the endive brand Perle du Nord. Supermarkets remain the main output for the group, which also works more and more with the collective catering sector.
Creating the brand
The brand “Maraîchers des Hauts-de-France” was not created by chance. The endive producers created Perle du Nord more than 10 years ago already. Since the model seemed to work well, it was logical to integrate the other vegetables within the group, which was done in 2018,” explains Olivier Hirel.
“In recent years, a lot of work has been done to bring structure to the different sectors: structuring the offer, organizing and planning production, support and technical advice, setting up a common approval, developing sales, conquering new markets and the creation of Direct Maraîchers in 2020, a sales office for short and proximity circuits. Creating a common brand was a logical step in the structuring process. The objective is to strengthen the position of local productions on the regional market, promote their know-how and gain a new clientele.”
A project for a processing unit is currently under study in order to value all the fruit and vegetables.
Terres en Fête
The producers of Perle Union will be present at the Terres en Fête trade show from June 10th to 12th 2022 in order to present their approach and welcome consumers or other potential partner producers.