Jane Mornement
The French summer fruit season has got off to a healthy start with the fifth annual campaign from Sunshine Fruits from France.
Focusing this year on a health and beauty theme, a 5-a-day awareness campaign will be supported by pieces in relevant consumer magazines and a Feeling Fruity radio promotion throughout July that includes competitions to win beauty products and interviews with nutritionist Fiona Hunter.
Instore promotions will be backed by recipe cards and leaflets for consumers.
French peach production acreage is growing rapidly, ensuring the country is in a position of strength, said Daniel Obadia, president of the apricot committee. However, the predicted French crop of peaches and nectarines is 350,000 tonnes this year, down on last year's 451,800 tonnes.
Apricot production will total 100,000 tonnes, down from 160,000, although frost damage means the total European crop is down 30%. Some 21,675 tonnes of melons are expected in the UK from France's total production of 306,500 tonnes, while 3,500 tonnes of summer pears will be exported to the UK this season from a total of 52,000, up on last year's crop of 45,000 tonnes.
Total French cherry production is anticipated to reach 52,500 tonnes, of which 15% will arrive in the UK. This is in spite of frost in the Rhône-Alpes area, which reduced total production by 25%.
Overall plum production is expected to be 75,000t, 8,000t up on last year, with Président and Greengage being the main varieties to be promoted in the UK.