The 2023/2024 kiwi season is shaping up to be “identical for France in terms of volumes, but lower in Europe in general,” according to the French Interprofessional Kiwi Agency (BIK), which also expects “better sizes” this year for the French production. The organization responsible for promoting and developing the French kiwi sector is continuing its research work this year.

For 2022, BIK reports “historically high production costs, mainly due to the energy crisis” /© BIK/Antoine Heusse

A 2023 harvest “virtually identical in volume”
“The heatwaves and the drought of 2022 slowed down fruit development. The 2022 harvest was small and more heterogeneous in size, but without any impact on fruit quality.” There should be improvement in fruit size this year, but the harvest is likely to be “more or less identical to the previous year in terms of volume.” The bad weather in June, with hail and storms, wiped out some orchards in southwestern France. “Some producers even lost their entire harvest.”

The European harvest is down by 4% due to weather events in Italy and Greece
According to the annual meeting of the International Kiwifruit Organisation (IKO), held in Chile two weeks ago, “the European production in 2023 will be down by 4%, all varieties combined. Hayward is down by 6%, while yellow-fleshed varieties are steadily increasing.” This drop in European volumes is linked to “extreme weather events” in Italy and Greece. “The discussions highlighted the fact that all producing countries are facing the same challenges: climate change, health problems, access to water, cost inflation (energy, consumables, logistics...), as well as labor costs.”

© BIK/Antoine Heusse

An exotic 2023-2024 communication campaign
Once again this year, French kiwis will have their own communication campaign. “The theme of this year’s campaign will be French exoticism, because kiwis are THE exotic fruit produced in France! There will be increased presence on social networks throughout the season, with consumer tips, partnerships with influencers and recipes. “These recipes will be found on our networks, and on our website, which will be regularly updated with news for professionals and the general public.”

© BIK/Antoine Heusse

BIK continues its research work
BIK is continuing its research and experimentation work, in particular on dieback in kiwi orchards, in order to find agronomic solutions and create a dieback observatory via satellite monitoring. The thesis is part of the UNLOCKED project (use of agroecological levers for kiwis to prevent dieback), in collaboration with INRAE (EMMAH unit). The POLCKA project is also involved in the fight against the devil bug (Halyomorpha halys), with research into alternative solutions to limit its spread and keep it away from orchards. In order to fight against francization, a "French Origin" database was created to characterize the French origin of kiwis through analysis, and finally a study into the feasibility of growing kiwis under photovoltaic panels, with an initial 3-year project starting in 2024.”

For more information:
BIK (Bureau national Interprofessionnel du Kiwi)
100 All. de Barcelone, 31000 Toulouse
Phone: 05 61 22 17 89
lekiwidefrance.fr