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Guillaume Fouquou, la Guitoune:
"Consumers eat more tomatoes than meat"
Guillaume Fouquou is the owner of la Guitoune, a fruit and vegetable farm cultivating around 400 m2 for direct sales. The shop offers a wide as possible range, provided by several producers. Guillaume: "Due to bad weather, it’s a catastrophic year for apricots. I have friends who only had 10% production."
“Half of the apricots were frozen in spring; the rest were hit by hail three weeks ago. The remaining apricots aren’t sweet enough. The situation is barely any better for peaches.” Despite the inferior quality, prices are comparable to prices in previous years. "The amounts of Spanish and French stone fruits are very limited. This increases prices."
Guillaume grows 25 varieties of tomatoes in photovoltaic greenhouses. "We bring a maximum of colour to our shelves, even if some varieties only bring up very little yield. We have four or five varieties in bulk. Other varieties, such as the small black, complete the range of colours. Our different tomatoes are offered on trays of 3 kg. Tourists love them for a summer salad." During the four summer months, half of La Guitoune's clients are tourists. Since the farm is located near the tourist hubs like the Verdon Gorge and lavender roads, this isn’t surprising.
The 3 kg trays of tomatoes
The prices of tomatoes in the French market go back up. "We had a three week delay due to the weather, but now it's nice and warm, and the market’s rising. Consumers eat more tomatoes than meat."
The beginning of the melon season was chaotic. "The weather was bad for a month. It's only been nice for three weeks, but, qualitatively, the melons are not so good. Prices rose by 20 cents at the start of last week."
Guillaume has been growing melons for quite some time. "Eight years ago, we had 60 hectares of melons, and 10 hectares of salad. During a severe hailstorm we lost 24 hectares. As a result, we reduced the size of the operation, and returned to the short circuit. We already had a producer shop with friends. Suddenly, we took off on this market completely. We kept 18 hectares, with 4 hectares of photovoltaic greenhouses, where we produce more energy than we use now.”
Among other things, Guillaume grows eggplants, peppers, early potatoes, green beans, salads, and zucchini.
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