French kiwis create a stir in international markets

13-08-2018 Le kiwi français
Logo France Bon appétit

Modern, original and with a coveted quality label to boot, French kiwis are well-known for their healthy properties and delicious taste. A third of France’s production is destined for international shores.

French kiwis: production and exports

 

French kiwis are mainly grown in the regions of Les Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Drôme and Corsica.  Given their generous yields and great quality, France is Europe’s third largest kiwi producer, after Italy and Greece, and ranked sixth in the world for exports.  Every year France exports 23,600 tonnes of kiwis according to national data source FranceAgriMer. 65% of volumes are destined for Europe (of which 23% to Belgium, 18% Spain and 12% Germany), while outside of Europe, the major outlets are Taiwan and China, both accounting for 12%.  French kiwi exports tend to be concentrated around November to April, peaking in December and January. In total, a third of France’s production is exported.

 

Quality kiwis Made in France

 

A speciality of France’s kiwi production is the kiwi de l’Adour variety from the Landes region in south west France. The region’s oceanic climate together with quality-focused production methods produce fruit with a slightly tangy edge, worthy of its coveted “label rouge” quality logo awarded in 1992, and Protected Geographical Origin status (PGI) in 2009. In total, 380 producers sell 20,000 tonnes of kiwis de l’Adour, which accounts for a third of France’s total kiwi output. The classic, green Hayward variety which is grown for the PGI kiwi de l’Adour is the leading variety produced and sold in France, and indeed throughout the world. It is known for its brown-green skin, generous proportions and sweet, tangy and aromatic taste. Recently, early-ripening varieties have been developed in France with increasing success, such as Summer, with its light brown skin and sweet, aromatic, non-acidic taste. Finally, the growing success of yellow varieties such as Gold have also made their mark on France, where growers have stepped up production. This variety is known for its distinctive yellow skin and sweet, perfumed taste.

French kiwis: production and exports

French kiwis are mainly grown in the regions of Les Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Drôme and Corsica.  Given their generous yields and great quality, France is Europe’s third largest kiwi producer, after Italy and Greece, and ranked sixth in the world for exports.  Every year France exports 23,600 tonnes of kiwis according to national data source FranceAgriMer. 65% of volumes are destined for Europe (of which 23% to Belgium, 18% Spain and 12% Germany), while outside of Europe, the major outlets are Taiwan and China, both accounting for 12%.  French kiwi exports tend to be concentrated around November to April, peaking in December and January. In total, a third of France’s production is exported.

 

Quality kiwis Made in France

 

A speciality of France’s kiwi production is the kiwi de l’Adour variety from the Landes region in south west France. The region’s oceanic climate together with quality-focused production methods produce fruit with a slightly tangy edge, worthy of its coveted “label rouge” quality logo awarded in 1992, and Protected Geographical Origin status (PGI) in 2009. In total, 380 producers sell 20,000 tonnes of kiwis de l’Adour, which accounts for a third of France’s total kiwi output. The classic, green Hayward variety which is grown for the PGI kiwi de l’Adour is the leading variety produced and sold in France, and indeed throughout the world. It is known for its brown-green skin, generous proportions and sweet, tangy and aromatic taste. Recently, early-ripening varieties have been developed in France with increasing success, such as Summer, with its light brown skin and sweet, aromatic, non-acidic taste. Finally, the growing success of yellow varieties such as Gold have also made their mark on France, where growers have stepped up production. This variety is known for its distinctive yellow skin and sweet, perfumed taste.

A kiwi conceived in France

 

Le Belle de Chine is a unique French kiwi variety, and exclusive to Tarn-et-Garonne in south west France, courtesy of its creators Jocelyne Chartier and Patrice Blanchet, from a variety originating in China. Its skin, which gradually acquires its yellow hue, is covered with a delicate layer of fur. Sweeter than the Hayward variety, it has almost the same levels of acidity, and a delicate lemon character on the palate.

 

Nergi berries, aka mini or baby kiwi

 

Perfect for picnics and al fresco dining, Nergi® are baby kiwi fruit sold by the Primland Group, which unites 600 producers, and sells 50% of its production outside of France. No larger than a cherry tomato, these tiny kiwis are packed full of energy, are high in vitamins C, E and B9, minerals and fibre and are great on-the-go. With no need to peel, they can be eaten whole for a tasty snack. They come into season mid-August and are grown in southern France. Cultivated from natural selections of the Actinia Arguta family, they are neither genetically modified nor processed. They are perfectly suited to current, on-the-go eating and snacking trends, and are of outstanding quality. In 2016, Primland successfully sold Negri® berries across Europe and Asia, with a staggering 2 million punnets mainly sold through supermarkets. Nergi® are on sale in Europe from mid-August to early November.

Nergi le kiwi

Nergi® are baby kiwi fruit sold by the Primland Group

Getting the best out of kiwis and top pairings

 

By far the simplest way to enjoy a kiwi is to slice the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. While kiwis make a great, simple, energy-packed breakfast, with a bit of effort, kiwis really sing as part of any sweet-savoury recipe. See them shine paired with fresh cheese, fish, shellfish and white meats. In addition, kiwis work well with with any crudité selection. Their slightly tangy taste is a good foil to other fruits and sweet foods too.

Kiwi et tartine de fromage

Spread of cheese with pieces of walnuts and kiwi

Storage tips

 

If your kiwi is a little on the yellow side, it can be kept for up to 3-4 weeks in the salad compartment of the fridge. To speed up the ripening process, leave the kiwis in a fruit bowl at room temperature, ideally wrapped in a paper bag.  If ripe and soft to touch, kiwis can be stored in a cool place for up to a week.

 

Did you know?

 

With its high vitamin C content, a single kiwi is all you need to meet the daily recommended requirements.

Petit déjeuner avec le kiwi

 

Top Tip

 

To keep chicken moist and succulent when cooking, place two peeled kiwis inside the bird before cooking.  Kiwi-tastic!