FOCUS FRUITS & VEGETABLES
The fresh fruit and vegetable sector (Interfel) is highly attentive to all of the latest issues affecting the world of agriculture.
That is why support for production – in the guise of research into increasing the competitiveness and diversity of France’s supply, in both domestic and foreign markets – is indispensable.
Fresh fruit and vegetable professionals – each at their own level – are committed to guaranteeing quality control and product safety, as well as to providing consumers with products that have a long history of French savoir-faire. Preserving and showcasing the authenticity and quality of French produce are the sector’s priorities. Maintaining those high standards will preserve the reputation of French quality, contribute to the durability of markets both in France and abroad, and guarantee a sufficient and varied supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for everyone all year long.
“The sector is currently in the midst of an agro-ecological transition that aims to reconcile economic performance and environmental protection.“
It is based on developing official labels for quality and biodiversity maintenance. This includes making the most out of nature’s resources and mechanisms through a range of different techniques, including taking advantage of natural predators, creating reservoir hedges for helpful auxiliaries, and crop rotation.
So experimentation and innovation are key concerns for this sector, which is already devoted to responding to changing consumer demands and the vagaries of the market.
The potato sector is committed to proposing a high-quality offer that follows good practice every step of the way.
French potato farming stands out for the variety and quality of its products. Thanks to diverse farmlands and professional know-how, all year long, France produces and markets more than 300 different types of potato: firm, waxy potatoes for “steaming, boiling, roasting and pan-frying,” and starchy potatoes for “baking, mashing” and “French fries.”
This varied offer is one of France’s great strengths on the export market. Europe is the destination for 96% of French potato exports, and even major potato-growing countries like Germany and Spain turn to French suppliers to complete the local offer.
Over the past five years, France has also begun exporting to the Middle East, a market that it intends to grow, as well as to South Asia.
The sector is working to maintain high-quality production that is environmentally friendly. The objective for 2022: 90% of production (outside of truck farming) certified as sustainable or in the process of obtaining another certification (Organic, High Environmental Value, GlobalG.A.P., etc.). The sector is also focusing on increased professionalization in its methods, thanks to the development of decision-making tools to help farmers manage their crops. The use of mapping software, whether embedded in farming equipment or embarked on drones, makes it possible to define precisely which zones need fertilizer, which contributes to using it more sparingly. In order to develop good practice and to suggest new tools, the “National Inter-Professional Potato Commission” devotes 16% of its annual budget to Research & Development through ARVALIS – Institut, its dedicated institute.