PdB aiming for bigger impact Brittany vegetable and salad growers are seeking to introduce new branded packa-ging on cauliflower and new potatoes complete with an environmental message as part of a renewed push to boost sales. The region operates its own self regulatory traceability scheme which covers all its 3,800 growers. Olivier Sinquin, export manager for Prince de Bretagne, claimed UK multiple support was also building for niche market lines such as mini vegetables and organics. He described retail discussions held last autumn as "very satisfactory". Further impetus has been created by both the favourable exchange rate and the effects of a radical change in long-term pricing policy that now allows importers to source major lines like cauliflower and iceberg lettuce outside the traditional daily auction system. Sinquin expects this eventually to be extended to other crops. "Supermarket programmes can operate on a season fixed price, although there are some guiding criteria," explains Sinquin. "Deliveries of cauliflower, for example, must be twice a week with a minimum order of 2,800 cartons." If a crop is surplus to be programme it is put back into the auction system, preferred by the French for their own market. Brittany needs to expand its broader product base because Spain and the United Kingdom have become increasingly competitive, growing iceberg lettuce and calabrese. As a result, production of the former has fallen 50% this season. The move also provides the platform for a new potato variety called Primaline, grown under plastic. Main varieties will still include Starlette, Ostera, Duke, Charlotte, Nicola, Delice, and Rubins. The season is due to start in a fortnight, with plans to export 10% more to the UK than last season, when the figure reached 22,000 tonnes. It is hoped a weekly fixed price policy for a quarter of the crop, and a two day variation for a further 20%, will also attract importers. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}