Posted on 20 Dec. 2020 at 10:18
A refined, very sweet, tangy flesh like raspberry. The red kiwi is taking its first steps in France. It is, for the moment, much more expensive than its green or yellow congeners and worthy of the most beautiful fruit platters. It is extremely rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The first were harvested in a greenhouse with solar panels in Lot-et-Garonne, near Agen. The family business Peruzzo, specializing in Italian fruits and vegetables, will follow with another variety, the “Rossy”, even redder, for which it has obtained the exclusive commercial license and planting in France until in 2043. For a very significant investment, which Tony Saglietto, its director, did not want to disclose.
The first 15 hectares will be planted in 2021 in Vaucluse and the fruits harvested in 2023. Until then, Peruzzo will continue to import it from Italy, which had, the first in Europe, given the go four years ago. in Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. The brothers want to create the market in France. Spain has just launched with an ambitious project covering 100 hectares in Lerida, Catalonia. She expects to be able to put 50 tonnes of red kiwis on the market next year. A prospect which pushes Tony Saglietto and his brother Luca to put the turbo and to encourage other producers to join them.
The Saglietto brothers even set up an “Okiwi” club to convince French farmers and offer them technical support. “The red kiwi is a very profitable crop, which contributes to the development of renewable energies thanks to photovoltaic greenhouses”, Tony Saglietto argues. The fruits, of Chinese origin, are at this stage produced in Argentina and Chile, Australia and New Zealand. The Peruzzo company wants to take advantage of the growing sensitivity of consumers originally from France to develop its project on the national territory.
Divide the price by three
Still rare in France, red kiwis are offered at prices much higher than greens or yellows sold at less than 1 euro per kilo. They reach from 18 to 20 euros per kilo in the stalls and are reserved for high-end fruit trees. Their price will change with the currently confidential offer. Tony Saglietto’s goal is to achieve a yield of 25 tonnes per hectare in three years, which should allow him to divide the price by three, to 6 or 7 euros per kilo. Kiwifruit cultivation in France has experienced varying fortunes with a crisis of overproduction in the 1990s, which led farmers to pull up hectares of green kiwifruit for the sweeter yellow varieties.