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Fruit and veg prices tumble in France

Joshua Melvin · 21 Aug 2014, 13:23

Published: 21 Aug 2014 13:23 GMT+02:00

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If you enjoyed the mild spring this year, so did France’s fruit and vegetables farms,  which as a result of pleasant weather have churned out a bumper crop of produce this summer.

The overabundance has driven down fruit prices by 12 percent and that of vegetables by three percent, which is great news for budget conscious chefs and consumers in food-obsessed France.

Though it's not so great for farmers already struggling with the effects of the Russian trade embargo on certain European products. Moscow implimented the bans in response to western sanctions over the situation in Ukraine.

An average kilo of fruit came in at €3.34 this year, over €3.78 in 2013, according to a report out on Thursday from advocacy group Familles Rurales.

Some produce, especially types synonymous with summer like melons, lettuce, peaches and pears have plunged in price by up to 20 percent.  

The reason for the bounty of produce is mainly the weather. At the end of July, France Agrimer, which is responsible for keeping an eye on the markets for the Ministry of Agriculture, pointed to the “mild spring temperatures” when explaining the abundance.

Heavy competition between online retailers, which allow people to bargain shop without leaving home, has also led to lower prices. It’s a situation the national farmer’s union Federation Nationale des Producteurs de Fruits attacked in a press release.

“It’s not about selling more vegetables, nor more fruits, nor better meeting customers’ expectations, or making them happy,” the group wrote. “It is, in reality, an effort to make consumers believe brand X is the cheapest and to sell all the other products, which aren’t on special offer, at a higher price.”

Story continues below…

But not all food prices are falling France. The chocolatey spread Nutella, of which the French are the world's second largest consumers behind the Germans, may see its price go up. A disastrous hazelnut harvest is posed to push up the cost of making the chocolate spread.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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