Cost of fresh fruit up 17% in France, veg up 4%

The price of fresh fruit from conventional (non-organic) agriculture has increased 17% compared to last year, with the global pandemic partly, but not entirely, to blame, says a new report.

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The price of organic fruit also increased by 6%, while vegetables saw a more modest increase of 4% for conventional vegetables and 1% for those organically grown.

This is according to the consumer association Familles Rurales, which compiles a report on fruit and vegetable prices across France each year.

“In this particular year, the confinement (labour shortages, high transportation costs, less foreign production) and weather conditions for certain products can explain certain increases,” the association wrote in a press release.

Speaking to radio station France Inter, Dominique Marmier, the president of Familles Rurales Fédération Nationale, said Covid-19 caused “big production problems”.

“French labourers had to be found, who are more expensive. There were also major production constraints, with preventative measures, with protocols that had to be respected...and in terms of logistics and transport it was very complicated,” he said.

He also pointed to the effects of the climate, saying that, for example, almost 40% of apricots were affected by frost, meaning there was a lower supply and therefore higher prices.

The new cost of fruit and vegetables in France

The association carried out its research between May 30 to June 12, with a team of 46 ‘monitors’ testing prices in 26 French departments.

The monitors tested the prices of eight different fruits and vegetables, both organic and non-organic and provided an overall average for the price increase of a piece of fruit. However the individual fruits' price change over the year showed considerable differences.

Apples were actually cheaper, they found, however cherries, pears, nectarines and peaches had shot up.

According to the report, between June 2019 and June 2020, one basket containing 1kg of each fruit went from costing €30.26 to €35.36 for non-organic products, and €56.21 to €59.61 for organic products.

For vegetables, one basket containing 1kg of each vegetable went from €20.46 to €21.34 for non-organic products and €36.71 to €37 for organic products.

The association noted that the price increase could be a problem for many households in France.

Government national health programme Nutrition Santé advises that everyone should eat five portions of fruit or vegetables per day.

“Overall, while the price increase is more modest for vegetables than for fruit, it is nonetheless problematic for many budgets that are already highly impacted by the crisis we are going through,” Familles Rurales said.

Several Connexion readers have noticed prices of fruit and vegetables increasing in the area that they live in. One said that food in general was very expensive in France compared to the UK.

Another said that in his experience with click-and-collect supermarket shopping in Deux-Sèvres in the west of France, “prices have gone up and quality has gone down”.

“For example, recently we had to throw away a bag of carrots that had gone slimy and mouldy within days. Other veg such as green beans have been tasteless.

"Friends have said the same. One has resorted to buying frozen veg to get better quality and price, and we all know how poor they can be. Something has gone wrong somewhere, but I don't know what,” he said.

Read more about fruit and veg in France:

Too much fruit and veg in your garden? You can sell it here

Shopping local: France's AMAP farm basket scheme explained

Where to buy the juiciest melons in France this summer

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