Eric Tastaye, Apifood:

“The strength of our Agrumine brand is its regularity in quality and supply”

Two weeks ago, Apifood started harvesting its oranges with leaves, “when the fruits were just ripe enough for a tasty product,” explains Eric Tastayre, manager of Apifood. The company’s keyword is quality, which is obtained thanks to rigorous work established from the production to the transit of the merchandise to the client.  

Towards improving the visual aspect
This quality is guaranteed by the Agrumine brand and the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). “The PGI allows us to offer regularity in terms of taste, which is a guarantee for the client and the consumer. Every week, we taste the oranges, and we never find one that isn’t tasty. We started the campaign as soon as we considered them to be very tasty, and at the moment, they are excellent. Additionally, the visual aspect, which we have been working on since the launch of the brand, is improving year after year. We used to claim that our oranges, if not the prettiest, were the tastiest. But today, we still sell the tastiest, and they are prettier! This guarantee of quality is also an important advantage in face of the competition from Portugal early in the season.”

A harvest marked by rigorous work and a heightened vigilance 
In order to meet the quality requirements of the brand, daily vigilance is essential. “We are really satisfied with the beginning of this campaign, but we are still at the mercy of the weather. The fruit is harvested when it is ripe on the tree and it is not treated after harvest, so we must continually adapt to the weather and avoid harvesting after an episode of rain.

"The product is more natural, but also more fragile, so we must be all the more vigilant when it comes to quality. This also requires a lot of work for the producer who first harvests the larger calibers with leaves, and then comes back to harvest the smaller calibers without leaves that will be used to make juice. The producers have more work in the field, therefore they are paid more.”

Controlled supply and conservation
Besides the work done in production, a good control of logistics and conservation is essential to guarantee the optimal freshness of the oranges. “What makes the brand famous is also the regularity in supply. There is a lot of traffic between France and Portugal. This means that an orange with leaves harvested on day 1 can reach the consumer on day 3 or 4. Besides, we are equipped with cold rooms with a HD Cold system, which allows us to control the temperature as well as the rate of hygrometry.”

Apifood supplies wholesalers and distributors. Given the very nice start of this campaign and the fact that the production of oranges with leaves sees a 10% growth each year, the company hopes to reach 4,500 tons this year.

For more information:
Eric Tastayre
Bâtiment administratif
Marché Gare
82030 Montauban
Phone: +33 5 63 20 22 50
Mobile: +33 6 07 59 03 75    

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