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Brahim El Hasnaoui, Fleuron d’Anjou

French cooperative Fleuron d'Anjou aims for 1,000 tons of asparagus within 5 years

Brahim El Hasnaoui, sales director of Fleuron d'Anjou, talks about the new asparagus campaign, which started somewhat early this year.

Greenhouse asparagus

An early start
This year in the Loire Valley, the asparagus campaign started much earlier than usual, on February 23rd (compared with March 8th last year). Volumes are also lower this year, due to the rainy weather in January and February, which prevented producers from carrying out their ridging operations. "Fortunately, sheltered areas (greenhouses and mini-tunnels) were able to produce, and the first asparagus arrived in the last week of February. Volumes are gradually increasing and since last week, we have been able to be referenced by distributors."

"Easter arrives 15 days early"
At the moment, the demand is quite good, despite the poor weather conditions. "Our clients are placing orders, and promotional actions in the stores are encouraging sales." Prices are "lower than last year, but still holding up well. Seasonal prices are in line with the volumes." But the Easter holidays, which are traditionally a busy time for asparagus growers, actually come almost two weeks early this year. "Our asparagus will have to remain in the spotlight for the next 4 weeks in order to have a decent level of trade."

Field production

Developing asparagus production
Fleuron d'Anjou wants to develop its asparagus production to reach a target of 1,000 tons within 5 years. For this reason, the cooperative is organizing an open day on May 22nd, when we will talk about production to our growers and to anyone interested in this crop, with technical discussions and a demonstration of ridging and harvesting equipment."

In parallel, "we have been working on obtaining the PGI Asparagus Val de Loire certification. The PGI application has been submitted to INAO. But we will need to increase our volumes once the PGI is official in order to meet the market demand."

For more information:
Brahim El Hasnaoui
Fleuron d'Anjou
Phone: +33(0) 241 530 480
Fax: +33(0) 241 536 712

Photo credit: Fleuron d'Anjou

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