With an annual volume of 7,000 tons of walnuts in shell, Coopenoix is the largest walnut cooperative in France. It offers conventional and organic walnuts all year round, with a marketing peak in October and November. Christine Bonnet, sales representative of the cooperative, explains that consumers are not always aware of the several advantages presented by French walnuts compared to imported walnuts.
Unequal production conditions
“Our walnuts are produced in France. This implies, necessarily, that they are produced under very strict regulations with the prohibition to use certain phytosanitary products. They also benefit from a reliable traceability. The rules of French agriculture impose great challenges for producers, but provide the best guarantees to the final consumer.”
Christine adds that at the same time, imported products enter the French territory but have not undergone these regulations. The final consumer is not necessarily aware of all these aspects and often turns to the cheaper product, which is difficult for French producers.”
Besides dry walnuts in shell, Coopenoix has a large production of kernels. “We start preparing the kernels around mid-November so they can be available for our clients in December. All the kernels are prepared in our own station in the Rhône-Alpes. We have a breaking machine and two optical sorting machines, so we do not get the work done abroad. The carbon footprint is therefore reduced to a minimum.”
According to Christine, if the final consumers buy French products, they help reduce their impact. “There are always a lot of products on the market that have traveled thousands of kilometers to end up on our plates. We are lucky to have delicious products in France with the best sanitary guarantees, let’s take advantage of that.”
The sanitary crisis has had little impact on the sales of dry walnuts in shell. “We sell a lot of walnuts to wholesalers and supermarkets. But for the clients who supply restaurants with our kernels, the situation is complicated.”
A new catalogue of Coopenoix kernels 100% France can be requested from the sales department.