The market of fresh aromatic herbs is doing relatively well and the demand is present, but the current situation poses some challenges for producers. “The higher energy and packaging costs, among others, will be difficult to pass on to our sales price,” explains Frédéric Marie of Alpilles Primeurs, a family business based in the Provence region and specialized in the greenhouse production of organic aromatic plants.
“For several weeks, we have been studying the impact of the soaring energy costs on our production and looking at all the possibilities available to us. We know that an increase of 10 to 15% is to be expected (if not more), which is impossible to pass on to our sales price.”
Kraft paper packaging
One year ago, Alpilles Primeurs confirmed its eco-design approach by launching a new packaging made of kraft paper. “We tried to promote our product as best we could. Our clients were not really satisfied with the new packaging for several reasons. Compared to the plastic packaging, the product is less visible and the packaging wrinkles quickly.”
This summer was particularly dry and warm and some varieties have suffered from the heat. “For the parsley, for example, the losses were quite significant. We will have to get used to these changes in climate which evolve year after year.” In terms of quality, Alpilles Primeurs has not noted any particular problem. “We must remain vigilant and careful throughout the season in order to satisfy our clients while guaranteeing optimal quality.”
“In spite of the current challenges, we have increased our production capacity by building a new greenhouse, which will allow us to optimize our flow and energy costs.
We are constantly looking for new varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests. We obviously remain attentive to the market and on the lookout for new technical developments.”