Many cucumber producers were faced with a lot of uncertainty last year regarding the success of the 2022 season, but cucumbers are gaining in popularity in France. "Cucumber prices had increased by more than 30% at the end of the previous campaign. Thanks to prices that remained high throughout the entire campaign, growers were able to compensate for the increase in production costs. Cucumbers are the product of our range that gained the most in value last year," explains Alexandre Picault, sales manager of Kultive.
Jean-Marc and Grégoire Leriche / © Philippe Montigny
This increase in value is due to a number of factors. "The supply was limited at first. Due to the increase in energy prices, many producers preferred to plant later, gaining a few hours of sunshine and a few degrees. However, this loss in yields could never be recovered afterwards. Additionally, the hail storms of last April destroyed about 80% of our greenhouses in Orleans, so the cucumber supply was even more limited, which reinforced the feeling that there was a shortage of cucumbers. Cucumbers are also highly sensitive to the weather. Their consumption was very high last summer when the weather was exceptionally nice and warm."
Claire Gacoin / © Philippe Montigny
Simon Boisgard / © Philippe Montigny
"Many producers preferred to start planting on the usual dates"
The previous campaign was actually rather positive, which helped producers approach the 2023 season with serenity. "We start again on the same date with the same promotional prices as last year and with the objective of building the market on the same model. This is why our producers are confident about the upcoming campaign. Most of them planted at the beginning of January, so their production can start in the second half of February. We try to spread out the production calendar according to those who can and cannot use heat. Some have delayed planting by a few weeks, but ultimately, for the larger producers, the schedule hasn't really changed. Many preferred to start planting on the usual dates because shifting the planting dates last year to save on electricity severely impacted yields. The producers were never able to recover these losses. This is why many of them just decided to heat their greenhouses normally this year for optimal profitability."
"The idea is to cover the needs of the French market"
With its 25 producers, Kultive grows nearly 25,000 tons of cucumbers each year. "All our cucumbers are produced in France, and the idea is to cover the needs of the French market from April to the end of August. It is a national objective to assess the consumption of this product in France and to put in production these surfaces to meet the French demand. But these anticipations are not always 100% reliable because they depend directly on a factor that we cannot control: the weather, which can easily boost or slow down both production and consumption."
Kultive also offers mini cucumbers, often called "portion/Jordanian cucumbers," whose production surface will be doubled this year. As for the rest of the Kultive production, the cucumbers and mini cucumbers benefit from the Demain la Terre certification.
For more information:
Alexandre Picault, Sales Manager
190 allée du Bois Vert
Tel.: 02 38 49 33 49