The French National Apple and Pear Association (ANPP) has announced that it is bucking a three-year trend with the return of a larger crop of French apples in 2023.
According to the data from the organisation, French apples are anticipated to reach 1.5 million tonnes, marking an 8% increase from 2022 and a 10% rise from the three-year average with a range of well-known varieties available, including Gala, Granny Smith, Golden, Candine, Kissabel, Lolipop, Honeycrunch and organic apple Juliet. This year’s harvest, unaffected by significant weather challenges like drought or storms, promises exceptionally sweet and flavourful apples.
The news comes after it was announced the total European apple harvest is expected to reach 11 million tonnes, 6.7% below 2022.
Daniel Sauvaitre, President, ANPP, said: “French orchardists dedicate themselves year-round to delivering high-quality apples adhering to Eco-friendly Orchards label, a standard trusted by consumers. The 2023 harvest appears promising and is poised to meet the expectations of GCC consumers in both quantity and quality. Despite rising production costs in the industry, apples remain an affordable choice for consumers, even amid high inflation.”
As part of a three-year plan to support French apple producers in exporting their products to the GCC market, the European Union and Interfel, the French fresh fruit and vegetable interprofessional organisation, have undertaken a series of initiatives to promote French apples to consumers in the Middle East region and will again be highlighting the fruit through a series of activations.
As part of the outreach program for 2023/24, a total of 444 tasting sessions will take place throughout the GCC, while a series of activations showcasing French apples in malls in Jeddah, Riyadh, Muscat, Doha, and Kuwait are planned, as well as a presence at Taste of Dubai.
Thanks to the favourable conditions in the spring and summer, Middle Eastern consumers can look forward to French apples with high sugar content, ample size, crisp texture, and excellent taste quality, offering a delightful experience for both restaurateurs and customers in the GCC.
French apple growers have been committed to eco-responsible production methods by respecting biodiversity and economic balance in orchards for many years, and now 70% of apple production comes from eco-friendly orchards. The innovative agroecological approach, grounded in integrated fruit production principles, supports high-quality products for consumers through orchard supervision, biological control, and advanced techniques.