The orchards of Maine-et-Loire show trees without apples, or with smaller or spotted fruits, consequences of the frost of last spring. The harvest is estimated at two-thirds of a normal year. However, prices should not soar indicate the professionals.
Fewer apples in Anjou orchards this fall. The harvest drops by around 30% depending on the slopes and the varieties of apples. Not all growers have experienced spring frost in the same way depending on the location of their plantations, and not all apple varieties react in the same way. Early flowering varieties Pink Lady and Gala suffered more from frost than later flowering varieties.
At Nicolas Hervé arboriculturist in Noyant-Villages, most apple trees show production holes. “We have a very heterogeneous production, trees without fruit whether on the branch or the tree. It is linked to the vegetative stage at the time of the frost. There are many qualitative defects and smaller fruits”.
These “ugly” apples, unsuitable for retail sale, will be sold to industry to be made into compotes or fruit juice. Disadvantage for the apple grower, these downgraded apples will be paid a quarter of the normal price.
No panic on prices
The prices should not vary for the consumer. Only French or Italian orchards suffered from frost. Elsewhere, the harvests are promising, particularly in Poland, with overproduction estimated at 20%. Prices are set at European level and should remain substantially stable.
“The apple harvest has only just begun”, indicates a producer and seller on the Rezé market in Loire-Atlantique.
The most beautiful, the Akane variety of a bright red and yellow, and also the most expensive, from organic farming, are at 4.40 € per kilo, they come from Vaucluse. The local Drap d’Or apples, from Sainte-Pazanne in Loire-Atlantique, with a more “rustic” aesthetic intended for making homemade compote, cost € 2.20.
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