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France: Beautiful strawberries for a tight market

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

In the North, the strawberry season has begun. While production is abundant and of good quality, the market is tight because of strong competition from the countries of the South. Producers suffered a 15% reduction in their remuneration.

Small strawberry crop
Delious strawberry from France.

Last year, climatic hazards (high heat and rainfall) had altered the fruit and limited production. Some farmers had seen "the refusal of customers to sell the products. Which is extremely rare. If the fruit does not conform, they can refuse the goods," explains Marie-Amélie Decherf of the Phalempin Market.

This year, the picking started with the Gariguettes on April 17 and was very quickly followed by the seasonal varieties and the upwelling ones. "The yield is 15% higher, from date to date. "In addition, strawberries are "firmer and better held". At the beginning of this season, the Phalempin Market has already received 44 tonnes of strawberries compared to 38 last year.

Marketing is somewhat complicated while the agricultural cooperative faces strong competition from other French regions and southern countries. "Strawberries from Spain are very present and we have the arrival of those from Morocco. This phenomenon is much more pronounced this year. And since the French strawberries arrived earlier, so it telescopes itself and floods the market."

In terms of prices, which fell by 15%, the Phalempin Market has to adapt: "Unlike the endive where we are the leader, we are now behind other regions of France. So we align ourselves with the market. "The decline is felt by farmers: "It's not a disaster but they're starting to not look good, especially since it's the beginning of the season."

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