Philippe Daré, President of the Breton cooperative Savéol noted that the September sun which was unfavourable to artichoke and cauliflower producers was good for producers within his cooperative.
Specialising in tomato production (90% tomatoes, 9% strawberries), Savéol has seen their volume grow between 7-8% last year (€164 million turnover in 2013). Mr Daré explains that the season had started rather badly with an abundant production, consumers in an economic crisis choosing cheaper imported produce either from Holland or Morocco who can produce year-round.
Until mid-August things were looking bleak for Savéol, and the year before hadn’t been better - then suddenly the Russian embargo began. Savéol hardly exports to Russia (a few dozen tons at the most) but Holland normally exports large volumes which are now on the European market. Luckily the September sun has helped the situation. Consumption has got going again, as have prices, and Savéol will end the year with limit damage. “One mustn’t complain too much” when they compare their situation to that of artichoke or cauliflower producers says Mr Daré.
But it is time to be creative, come up with new packaging, new colours of tomatoes, new,less traditional products such as pourpier, silicone and mertensia - sea vegetables ideal as a side dish with fish Savéol are also counting on their partnership with producers in the South East. Thanks to their 17 ha of farmed land this allows them to supply produce outside of the Breton season.