All shallot seeds used to be in the hands of a single actor, but Luzo is now making a name for itself on the market thanks to the Cassandre, a variety with a pink flesh and copper coloration on the outside. It has a semi-long shape and keeps from one harvest to the next.
Cassandre shallot: plant cycle of 160 days/ P2 precocity
“We now have the volumes to meet the demand”
As a result of a long selection process, Luzo now has an exclusive contract for the Cassandre seed. On the market for 7 years, it is distributed on the European, American and African continents. “We have been working on the Cassandre shallot for a very long time because it takes a lot of time, maybe 10 years, to develop a variety. We now have the volumes to meet the demand,” explains Olivier Magaud.
Semi-long Cassandre shallot with copper skin
“There will still be shallot batches that will disappear and reduce the volumes”
The yield predictions for the crop looked very good at first, but the weather hazards have slowed down the growth and favored the development of fusariosis. “This year, in terms of yields, we observe a 20% decrease compared to a normal year. Many batches were affected and could not be sold.” Some quality problems that are affecting a market initially announced as overloaded in terms of volumes. “It’s already starting to get tense, while this normally happens in January. Finding healthy volumes is starting to become complicated. In a year like this, we store batches we think are nice, and when we reopen the fridges to sell, we have surprises and it is already too late. For the moment, prices are firm but they will probably increase over time when more batches will disappear.”
Prices globally on the rise
Transport, raw materials, energy…the sector is faced with a general price increase. “Following Brexit, British manufacturers had decided to turn to China. However, containers went from 5,000 to 15,000 USD so they ended up turning to Poland. But this year, the yields in Poland are low, so Polish producers are turning to the Dutch and the French to get some merchandise. This is causing panic on the market and prices go up, it’s the snowball effect.”
“It is being talked about everywhere, but we all need to really be aware of it! The price of food products is going to increase. If one parameter changes, we can still absorb it, but at the moment, all the parameters are changing, so everything is going up. The repercussions concern everyone.”
Specialized in allium, Luzo is based in the Aube department of northeastern France. The company offers yellow onions, pink onions and echalions. Also active in the supply of processed products, Luzo has developed the “ready-to-use” sweated onion.
Sweated onions. “No need to peel, slice or sweat it anymore”