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France: Less fruit makes for a tough year

Christophe Artero, general manager of FDA International in France, noted that this year has been light on fruit, both in his native France and abroad. Because FDA's specialty is apples, apple shortages in the United States and Europe have affected his, and other European suppliers', ability to provide abundant volumes at modest prices.

“It's been a difficult season because, in general, there has been less product,” said Christophe Artero. FDA International mostly handles apples, so they were affected by shortages in France which caused prices to go up, but they also deal in kiwis, a commodity which, according to Artero, also suffered from shortages this year.

“There are fewer apples in France, fewer in Spain and not as much fruit in Canada,” he said. “It's been the same thing with kiwis, too. There's been less fruit coming from Italy and France.” That's made for a difficult year because, Artero explained, they have to reconcile client demands with the realities of the market.

“Prices are higher and there's less quantity,” he said. “So you have to meet customer requirements in terms of volume, price and quality, and though it makes for an interesting year, it's difficult.” For Artero, meeting client demands is a priority, as shown by their foray into the kiwi and grape business after their apple clients requested a wider selection of fruit. They currently source kiwis and grapes from Chile to complement their line of apples which they ship throughout the world.

“We export apples to the Middle East, South America and North America,” he said. Their varieties include Granny, Golden, Gala, Fuji and Braeburn apples which are also sold domestically in France under two different labels.

In addition to fruit, FDA also sells traditional French shallots. Their main customers are based in the United States, but based on strong interest from the Brazilian market, they hope to expand there once trade protocols between France and Brazil are worked out.

“We're pushing the French government to open frontiers to Brazil because there's a lot of demand for French shallots there,” said Artero. “As soon as the protocols are fine, we will export to Brazil.” Their export season for shallots stretches across 11 months from July through June.

For more information:
Christophe Artéro
FDA International
Tel: +33 241 966 648
Mob: +33 677 399 162
Fax: +33 241 966 641

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