French horticulture in deep trough

Indication of origin on French floriculture products

The French horticultural sector (vegetables and floriculture) is constantly losing ground to imported horticultural products. From a turnover of horticultural products of €3 billion, €1 billion are imported. In relation to cut flowers, 85% are imported, principally from the Netherlands and also from Isreal, Columbia and Kenya. Competing on price with imported product is out of the question. The sector is therefore now strengthened by indicating origin. In France, this is a tried and tested method of promoting local products. France only has 5000 horticultural businesses. These provide 15% of the national demand for horticultural products.

Three different types of labelling are designed to promote the sale of French cut flowers: ‘Fleurs de France’ – Produced in France (launched in February. There are almost no cut flower growers in France any more, only in the Departement Var where there are a few who produce flowers such as Pionies, Mimosas and Buttercups);‘Plante Bleue’ – Plants which come from a nursersies with a certification for social and environmentally sound products (launched in 2011 via the French framework legislation for the environment, "Grenelle de l'Environnement". At the moment, France only has 5000 certified nurseries; and ‘Label Rouge’ – an existing generic certification for high quality products (focussed on dahlias, rose bushes and geraniums). 

In addition to these certifications, it is hoped that there will be investment support for the horticultural industry. The national investment bank (BPI) has allocated €14 million for the modernising of glasshouses. There is also generic investment support from BPI for agricultural energy saving and automatisation (€60 million). If this is sufficient to allow the sector to compete on equal footing with other EU states, only time will tell.

In the meantime, the French market is extremely interesting for the Netherlands with increasing sales of fruit and vegetables and also the modernising programme for glasshouses could provide opportunities for the supporting industry. These programmes are the responisibility of the Agricultural ministry and its implementing agency, FranceAgriMer.

Click here for more information and statistics about French horticulture.

Source: Agroberichten Buitenland

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