Fruit harvests, packaging availability and jam production: Bruno Cassan – CEO of Andrésy Confitures, testifies on the trade-offs that brands will have to make!
Every year during the summer, reports multiply on the state of fruit and vegetable harvests and the difficulties of growers due to climatic hazards.
To sort out all the information, Bruno Cassan, CEO of Andrésy Confitures, testifies of the state of the harvests of fruits for jam, of the expected conditions of the markets of packaging, of the effects of the new modes of consumption and of the assets of your producer of jam to accompany you in the realization of your projects of creations of custom-made jams
About the fruit harvest this year for jam making:
Bruno Cassan, what exactly is the situation with the fruit harvest this year?
BC : “If you want to know if we will have total breaks of certain fruits, the answer is no. There are fruits if you are willing to pay the asking price! And it is sometimes 3 times higher than last year, as for raspberries for example!
The fruit market in France and in Europe is complex. It is divided into 2 sectors:
- Fruit intended for food markets: sale in local shops, on markets, directly to producers, to restaurants, etc.
- Fruit for the processing market: for craftsmen and industries to make compotes, fruit juices, among others, and of course the jam production
In France, almost all the fruit is destined for the food markets. It is more rewarding for the producers. The remaining fruits are sold to the industry and the craft industry. This means that if the French producers have sold a lot to the food market, there is little fruit left available for the jam production!
Fortunately, in Europe this is not the case: there are specific channels for the industry with dedicated quantities and excellent quality.”
Can you tell us more about the French fruits used for jam making?
BC : “For fruits from France, there is no break: there are quantities even if they are limited and strongly increasing.
This is due to various factors:
- climatic hazards: agriculture and arboriculture are always strongly impacted by the weather. This year, the Rhone Valley, a major producer of fruits quality, was hit hard by the hazards of the weather, at crucial times for fruits: frost during bud formation, rain instead of sunshine during growth
- the COVID pandemic: in 2020 as in 2021 the harvests suffered from a lack of workers, especially those from neighboring European countries who are the usual harvesting assistants. We have been missing these harvesters for two years in a row.
- new consumption patterns: supermark
Can you tell us more about the French fruits used for jam making?
What can you tell us about the jam fruits of Europe?
BC : “Did you know that Europe is a great producer of red berries? Strawberries, raspberries, red currants, blueberries, cherries… European territories are rich in quality soils for jam fruits!
In neighboring countries, too, the quantities available are smaller in terms of volume, with rising prices.
The major factor this time is the emergence of new markets, very demanding for fruits and quantities: Eastern countries, Russia, China, etc.
If we go further than Europe, for the blueberry of Canada for example, the subjects are the same: the climatic hazards related to the changes of the climates are very important on the nature and thus the harvests!”
About the sugar needed for jam production:
How is sugar for jam, cane sugar or beet sugar, impacted this year?
BC : “The price of cane sugar has increased by 10%: the difficulty comes from the Brexit because England is a large supplier-importer of cane sugar. The difficulties of the Brexit: legislative, customs, and logistical, make transport more expensive, the delays longer.
The sugar cane from Brazil is more expensive too because the price of the containers has been multiplied by 10! It strongly impacts the selling price of the transported materials!
Sugar beet in France has suffered, like other crops, from climatic hazards.
The purchase price is also impacted by a strong desire to better value the work of beet growers. In total, the purchase price of French beet sugar has increased by 10 to 15%.”
About the packaging needed for jam production: jars, caps and cartons
We hear a lot about packaging shortages related to the economic recovery. Will jam making be affected?
BC : “For the packaging of our artisanal jams, we undergo various increases:
- capsules increased by +10% in June
- Cardboard and paper for labels are experiencing strong growth and availability problems. Cardboard has increased twice: +6% in May, +6% in April
This is mainly due to the economic discount combined with changes in consumption patterns during the COVID crisis.
- the increase in e-commerce purchases: distance selling consumes a lot of cardboard and packaging
- the good ecological practices that we have all decided to apply have an impact on substitute materials: for example, the elimination of plastic bottles leads to a return to glass and therefore a saturation of glass factories, less availability, an increase in lead times and prices.”
After all of these information on the jam fruit, cane sugar and packaging markets, tell us what solutions Andrésy Confitures offers its customers?
BC : “It is true that I have spoken at length about the limiting factors for our supplies of fruit jam: climatic hazards, increase in sales in food markets, refocusing on French origins, which led to limited supply compared to demand.
Will we be able to make your homemade jams as well?
Yes, of course! One of our major values is adaptability: it is a strength and an asset to accompany our customers for our jam brands and custom brands.
We will have to make choices but we have solutions to propose!”
What have you put in place to secure the markets for jam fruit and cane sugar?
BC : “It is certain that our clients will have to make choices! Fortunately, we take our role as a partner very seriously.
We have always been forward-looking and adaptable because we make jams for prestigious brands, demanding chefs and renowned establishments. It is out of the question to put them in difficulty without a solution to propose!
Our ability to anticipate and adapt has always been part of our DNA as a custom manufacturer:
- we have increased communication with our partners to better understand their future needs
- we positioned ourselves very early in the harvests on the quantities we would need for jam production
- we have sourced different varieties of fruits than usual and always adapted to the cooking in artisanal jams
- we looked for various qualities of fruits to adapt to new needs, new recipes
All these measures mean that we have been able to offer quality alternatives to our customers whenever choices had to be made!
Our major values are internal strengths and assets for our partners: adaptability and anticipation, essential for proposing good trade-offs!”
Which solutions are adopted by Andrésy Confitures to secure the packaging?
BC : “Here again our anticipation and adaptability proved to be valuable assets!
We work on long-term contracts with packaging and energy suppliers:
- annual quantities
- storage capabilities
- continuous and tripartite communication: customer needs, supplier capacities, quality requirements of our jam production
Our ability to listen to our customers, to establish reaction scenarios related to the consequences of their needs, is a real asset for our customers in custom-made manufacturing and our own brands of jams.”
Want more details, fruit by fruit? Or on some packaging? Discuss the feasibility of a jam making project?
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