As part of the implementation of its development strategy, the Euralis Agricultural Division has launched several sectors for farmers, including kiwifruit. Thus, in partnership with the SCAAP Kiwifruit de France cooperative, a key player in the French market, Euralis supports farmers in carrying out an orchard farming project until they join SCAAP Kiwifruits. From scaling the project to selling the fruit, including choosing the land, the support is comprehensive. From an economic point of view, this represents an interesting diversification opportunity for producers, and one that will contribute to the resilience of their farms.
For several months now, the Euralis cooperative has been offering farmers the opportunity to start producing kiwifruit. To date, 120 have expressed interest in this sector and are ready to carry out a kiwifruit orchard project. “40 farmers have already signed up for projects which, in total, represent 60 hectares,” explains Cédric Brana, in charge of developing this sector. “At least half of them are in the Gascony and Gave Océan areas, where the soil and climate conditions are favourable.” Moreover, the profiles of those starting up are varied: they range from young farmers to fifty-year-olds preparing for retirement. But they remain life-structuring projects and the farmers, all beginners, are alike in that they are looking to diversify their activities and safeguard their income. They mainly produce yellow and green kiwifruit. “We are currently working on a project to produce red kiwifruit, coupled with agrivoltaics”, highlights Cédric Brana.
Customised support at all key stages of the project
Euralis assists its farmers at all stages of orchard establishment. First, there is the planning stage, which includes a visit to discover how kiwifruit is grown, advice on the choice of plot, validated by a technician from SCAAP Kiwifruits de France and help in scaling the project (protective nets, trellising, irrigation, etc.). This personalised support continues with a feasibility study and also includes the financing plan and grant applications. It ends with the concrete implementation of the project by joining SCAAP kiwifruits and starting the actual planting. “We want to safeguard all stages of each orchard establishment project by detailing the specific growing methods for each production model,” adds Fabien Bec, Head of Development at SCAAP Kiwifruits de France. “Farmers benefit from the synergy between the two cooperatives. While Euralis assists with the scaling of the farm project, we guarantee technical expertise and the marketing of the fruit.”
Why start producing kiwifruit?
Kiwifruit production is both feasible and profitable and the sector is dynamic. Many varieties are produced locally: from the historic Hayward kiwifruit to the yellow-fleshed Gold kiwifruit sold under the common brand name Oscar® and the miniature Nergi® variety. They all have their place in the market. Indeed, kiwifruit consumption is constantly increasing: in France, it has risen by 10,000 tonnes over the last seven years. Each household consumes just under 5 kg per year. As a functional food, it is appreciated for its antioxidant properties. It is also low in calories, a source of fibre and promotes cardiovascular health.
Southwest France, the land of kiwifruit
Southwest France has the ideal conditions for growing kiwifruit: an oceanic climate with sufficiently low temperatures for vegetative rest, fertile, damp soil (which is explained in particular by the proximity to the ocean and the Adour and Gaves waterways) and abundant sunshine. Southwest France is home to 75% of the country’s kiwifruit production and holds Label Rouge and Kiwi de l’Adour PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) certification.
Testimonial from Anne-Laure and Gilles Arramon, who are starting kiwifruit production in Bournos
We embarked on this kiwifruit production project because we wanted to diversify our activities on the farm and opt for a sustainable activity. We are supported in this project by SCAAP and Euralis, who have guided us in all our choices, although in the end, of course, we still have control over the decision-making process. Work began in the autumn of 2021. We decided to produce 1 hectare of yellow kiwifruit and 1 hectare of green kiwifruit on two separate plots. We chose them because they fit the specifications and because they are close to where we live. Overall, we anticipate an investment of approximately €140,000. We will benefit from subsidies as well as a cash advance of €7,000/ha paid by SCAAP Kiwifruits. We relied on a feasibility study that we co-drafted with Euralis to establish our business forecast (financing plan, subsidies, return-on-investment, cash management). It is very important for us to safeguard the whole project.