Anthony Langlais, Kultive:

"The French cucumber season is going to be decided in the next two weeks"

Kultive started the cucumber campaign two weeks ago in a very complex production context: "At the moment, it is very difficult for a producer to predict what will happen. We are under enormous pressure regarding the increase of costs on all the aspects of production. The increase in energy prices has a direct impact on us, but it also has consequences for the other sectors on which we depend. Compared to last year, the price of gas has increased by a factor of 4 or 6, the price of fertilizer by a factor of 2 or even 4, depending on the references, the price of cardboard has increased by 40% and the price of transport by up to 20%. We are facing a context of rising production costs that is truly mind-boggling, with major issues that we do not control and that leave the future of the 2022 French cucumber campaign uncertain," explains Anthony Langlais, director of the company Kultive.

"We have to sell at a price that is in line with the economic reality of the market"
In this very particular market situation, the success of the season will also depend on the positioning of supermarkets: "Some of our supermarket customers are a little slow to switch from the Spanish campaign to the French. We are once again more expensive than the import. This situation can benefit the Spanish competition whose production is less expensive in energy. But we cannot sell at prices that are not in line with the current economic reality. The consumer and our customers will have to be aware that we will not be able to sell French cucumbers this year at the same price as in the past.

"It is essential that supermarkets really open the French channels"
At Kultive, some growers have decided to limit losses by postponing the harvest a bit. "But it is obvious that if the balance of this first crop is very bad and does not even offer a prospect of recovery for the following crops, there may be a big gap in production for us starting in May/June. Because if shutting down is more profitable than keeping it open, depending on the case, the producers will make a decision. So we need the set-up to be done properly. The next two weeks will be decisive. It is essential that the supermarkets open the French channels quickly, because the season will depend largely on this launch. We are really at the threshold of something important.

"We have put everything in place to offer good quality French cucumbers to consumers"
Despite the difficult context of the campaign, Anthony Langlais wants to remain positive: "It was necessary to start the campaign, and we want to continue to move forward even if each producer had to make certain choices. The situation is not perfect, but it's not all bad either. From a sanitary point of view, the campaign is looking good, which was not a given considering the months of January and February that we had. In terms of agronomy, we are confident that our plants are healthy and well established, and will produce as soon as we get some sun. We have put everything in place to tackle this atypical season as well as possible and to offer quality French cucumbers to consumers. On the other hand, the consumption of cucumbers on the French market has increased in the last few years, which is rather positive. For the moment, we have a clear view until Easter. We are now betting on the fact that the French consumer will want French cucumbers at the height of the season, but how much will they be willing to pay for them, that is the question."

For more information:
Anthony Langlais
190 allée du Bois Vert
45640 Sandillon
Tel. : 02 38 49 33 49

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