Achieving a campaign that provides reasonable profitability for the associates is the main challenge in 2020-21 for the first French group of cooperatives, Blue Whale.
In a global health crisis situation, with a smaller harvest, increased production costs and a situation in which no long-term projects can be carried out due to the pandemic, the ultimate goal of the French cooperative association is to be able to maintain the profitability of its associates’ productions.
With that in mind, the month of October has shown a fluid market dynamic owing to the lack of volumes. At European destinations, prices remain in line with other seasons, but in the rest of the world the produce has already started recording increases, a situation that does not usually happen until November, indicating a certain particularity regarding how the overall campaign could develop.
Marc Peyres, the sales manager of the French company, explains that “in these circumstances, prices should compensate the loss in volumes, to which the additional expenses of the health safety measures adopted both in the fields and in the preparation centres must be added. “The greatest challenge will be ending the campaign with a reasonable profitability for our producers, in a year when no long-term initiatives can be carried out.”
Ecological produce and sustainable environment
The French company continues to maintain its commitment to ecological produce, adding new hectares to its global production. To differentiate this produce, it has two brands: “Les Fruticulteurs Bio de Nos Campagnes” for the French market and “Blue Whale Organic” for export produce. They also expect to market around 9,000 tonnes using the “Element Terre Bio” brand. The varieties belonging to this ecological line are apples that have natural resistance to certain pests. On the Spanish market, the Candine and Pixie Crunch varieties stand out.
95% of the cooperative’s production holds the HVE certificate (high environmental value). “It represents the culmination of many years of work and a responsible commitment to the future by our producers.”
In addition to the agronomic practices, this commitment has also been passed on to the packaging, with a 100% cardboard tray that allows good preservation of the produce and provides visibility.
The addition of GP05
Last march, the GP05 group joined Blue Whale, adding several new business lines.
“Our range has been extended with the PGI Hautes Alpes Golden and also with the ‘Label Rouge’ brand and we will also have a new pear, the Qtee, ranked as a summer fruit.”