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Gala harvest is in progress in our orchards

The new season for Gala apple started at the beginning of august in our orchards near Nimes (South of France). As from the 2nd August, apples were send on French markets and were exported. This season characteristic: we were the earliest origin country in Europe. Spain suffered from heat and hail storms. Tree renewal allows us to be the unique supplier during the first part of the season offering good quality products in a large quantity.

Harvest begun in week 33 in our South West orchards (15th August) and in week 34 (20th August) in Loire Valley. Our harvest forecast is lower in volume in South West but better in the two others production areas (South East and Loire Valley). In the end, we expect a global Blue Whale harvest a little bit higher to the past year with a better size of fruit and a higher packaging rate in fresh.

Gala orchards keep growing (+10% compared with the past year). This number hides a normal harvest in Western Europe and a progress in Poland and Eastern Europe. Beyond loud production figures, the variety benefits from a good renewal in France and Italy with new clones more colorful. So Gala market is moving fast. In this context, Blue Whale have a large advantage because of its strong effort in renewal!

Follow the link below and watch the French TV report : https://www.lci.fr/societe/tarn-et-garonne-une-recolte-precoce-des-pommes-2096193.html

Blue Whale at the Fruits Logistica 2018 fair in Berlin!

Fruit Logistica, The international Fruit & Vegetable exhibition was in Berlin the 7th to the 9th of February 2018.

Like every year, Blue Whale was at the heart of the French Pavilion to present its novelties, meet clients and partners but also to inquire on the trends of the latest innovations.

The feedback of this 2018 edition is very positive for our Blue Whale sales team.

See you next year!

Meet Blue Whale at Fruit Logistica 2018

As like every year, Blue Whale welcomes you at the Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin. This year, you can meet the team the 7th, 8th and 9th of February on its 100m² stand located in the French Pavilion.

For this edition, the stand decoration has been redesigned, it is more warm, clear and airy, with new colours, new design. And fortunately its accommodation capacity is bigger as it does never empty!

Fruit Logistica is the opportunity to meet customers but also discover innovations on the market.

Save the date and see you until Friday 9th of February HALL 22 Stand F18!

Blue Whale launches Rockit™ mini apple at St Lazare train station in Paris!

We announced it exclusivity at the Berlin fair in 2016 and today here we are: Blue Whale sells its own production of Rockit ™ apples Made in France!

Rockit™ is a very small apple sold in recyclable plastic tube! And for its launch, a pop-up store has been set up at the St Lazare train station in Paris from 15 to 24 of January of 2018. You can buy in preview, this 100% natural sweet apple!

Who is little new Rockit™?

5 to 6 centimeters of diameter and 80 to 90 grams: here are its measurements! Born in New Zealand from the natural selection by hybridization of Pacific and Gala apples with a pollinator malus, it grows today in France thanks to 24 Blue Whale fruit-growers present in the Southwest and in the Loire Valley.

A small apple with great potential…

Blue Whale is investing in this new variety, which is both a varietal and commercial innovation: it is the first mini apple sold in the snacking department! A planting program has been established, orchards are now in development. In this way, after a 130 tons produced this season, the Blue Whale growers forecast a harvest of 900 tons within 3 years.

A promising launch in Paris…

In a few days, already hundreds of tubes were sold on the ephemeral shop in St Lazare. A healthy and easy-to-carry snack, ideal for busy travelers who care about their health! Consumer feedback is unanimous: the little Rockit ™ is a delight! It has only assets: it is good, attractive, easy to transport and 100% natural.

From January 25th, you will find it in French points of sale such as Relay, Proxy or in automatic distribution.

Be aware, Rockit™ is the new 2018 star!

  • Smallest apple in the World
  • Sweety healthy taste, 100% natural
  • Tiny skin
  • Small core so more flesh to crunch
  • Unique pack: in tube!
Joya® is coming on stores!

Joya® apple is one of the last apples harvested. It is picked at the end of November and arrives on stalls now, at the beginning of January, after a few weeks of maturation.

It is the tonic bicolour apple that gives punch for the end of winter! Joya® has a tangy flavour, is very crispy and refreshing in the mouth.

Since the launch of this apple in 2012, Blue Whale wants to develop its orchards.

This year, we reach 4.000 tons of production (+30% from last year). The good weather conditions has promised a beautiful quality of production in our 3 areas: South West, Loire Valley and South East.

Celebrations are over, so be tonic with Joya®!

The Blue Whale General Assembly took place this Thursday 14th of December

Blue Whale Chairman, Christophe Belloc presented the Blue Whale General Assembly last Thursday the 14th of December 2017 at La Muse Cinema in Bressols. It was the opportunity to join together growers, colleagues and stakeholders, so more than 150 people, the aim was to present them what was made on 2016-2017 and future projects.

Christophe Belloc thanks some initiatives awarding Blue Whale trophies, such as :

  • Terryloire, a new firm born with the fusion of two packhouses in the Loire Valley (Cafpas and Reinette Fruitière)
  • Vergers d’Anjou packhouse for its investment with a new calibrator and cool hall,
  • 3 growers for their investment in orchards : Antoine Gangneron (2.6 ha of apple trees or 18% of the total area of his orchard in Loire Valley), Patrice Bax (3.07 ha of kiwifruit and 4 ha of apple trees or 30% of the total area of his orchard in South West of France) and Didier Miollan (21.8 ha of apple trees in South East of France)
  • Blue Whale quality department for its involvement in the CSR project (Corporate Social Responsibility).

Today, at the apple midseason, averages are positive for Blue Whale.

A Blue Whale grower received a Pink Lady talent award…

Last Wednesday 13th of December 2017, in Montauban, was the Pink Lady Europe Association General Assembly. An opportunity to present the accounts, future projects but also to reward the work of growers and collaborators. Indeed, a competition was launched to reward “Pink Lady talents”.

Benoit Laforgue, Blue Whale grower and Chairman of Cooperative Novacoop out of 19 application files, had the honor to receive one of the 5 awards.

Benoit produces apples, nuts, hazelnuts and cereals on the border of Garonne near to “humid zones”. An environment where the major part is to fight against flooding improve quality of water and maintain biodiversity. He opened his exploitation to the Midi Pyrénées Nature Association to be able to comprehend better the environment context and to become actor to enhance biodiversity.

This “pilot” project is part of the sustainable responsibility in which Blue Whale Group is committed.

Blue Whale at the WOP Dubai

From the 5th to the 7th of December 2017, World of Perishables Dubai welcomes each year more than 4,000 visitors from around 80 countries. It is the leading trade fair for fresh produce in the Middle East, a market where consumption of these commodities is one of the fastest growing in the world. Blue Whale has been there for several years and commercially, this area represents for us 26,000 tons of fruit, so more than 1,300 containers shipped.

WOP is the marketplace for the growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. The exhibition on the show reflects the entire chain: from the producer, to the consumer via the export, wholesale and retail trade. This is the opportunity to take contacts with major supermarkets in the region and to open new markets.

The WOP offer is extended by the “Fruitnet Business” forum, to which Marc Peyres, Commercial and Marketing Director of the sector, took part in.

Indeed, Blue Whale was invited to go to a round table on the theme: how to build a successful brand in the Middle East? Interesting brand-focused debates pointed to the importance of having a product behind each brand, because tomorrow brands will be the business of companies or groups of companies and will no longer be collective brands.

The proliferation of new product projects around brands is also a challenge for us all, everywhere and not only in the Middle East. But will there be space for everyone? In apples, only projects that present a real innovation, and above all innovation on taste, will have chances of success. This allowed us to highlight our novelties such as Regalyou, or Novablue and Liliblue but also our involvement in the beautiful Kissabel project: red flesh apples with a unique taste.

To be continued…

Novacoop inaugurated its new refrigeration facilities

On Friday the 15th of September, the new refrigeration facilities of Novacoop cooperative from the Blue Whale Group was inaugurated.

Novacoop is located in Bessens (in the French department of Tarn & Garonne). It was created in 2002 from the initiative of some growers who wanted to join together to be stronger and to put together their resources. The start was carried out in 2004 with 10,000 tons of fruit. The cooperative joined the “UDC orchards of Blue Whale” in 2009. Today we count 12 members and 20,000 tons of fruit are packed.

The new facilities are located in the commune of Montbartier, in a developing area of ??the Montauban region. In the 3.300m² there are 14 rooms which can store an amount of 340 tons of fruit in new generation fridges installed by Absoger and using the XLO technology.

The inauguration allowed Benoît Laforgue, President, to highlight the dynamism of Novacoop – which went through a difficult period before the 2015 storm but was able to rise again – as well as its ambitions. Cédric Mangin, the director, presented the new logo of the cooperative, pink colored (like the plastic pallox recognizable among all in the region), it is modern and dynamic with a small apple in the center which makes the link.

The young President also thanked his entire group of producers, and in particular Serge Laplace, ex-President, who has worked hard to become a member of the Blue Whale Group.

Other projects are under reflection, so we wish good continuation to Novacoop!

Blue Whale in Hong Kong, conclusive results…

As a pioneer and a leader in the export of French apples to Asia, again this year Blue Whale attended the Fruit Logistica fair in Asia. It is the regional trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector in the area.

It was the opportunity for our sales and marketing team to meet again all of our Asian customers at the beginning of the season and also to schedule Blue Whale sales and sales demonstrations in the different countries of the zone.

Moreover, it allowed us to highlight our new products like Novablue®, Liliblue®, Rockit®, new plums … but also to taste some varieties in development, on which we base many hopes for this Asian market where the star products are very sweet and without any acidity!

Once again we were able to verify the incredible success of the Zespri Gold® kiwi in Asia which sales increase every month (as well as prices)! This is the most successful over of the last 20 years in Asia both in volume and value.

Asia is a large area as we export to 14 countries: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and more recently Burma and South Korea. We hope to reopen the Philippines and maybe one day Japan … to follow!

Blue Whale is present at Asia Fruit Logistica fair in Hong Kong!

Blue Whale is in Hong Kong, at the Asia’s leading trade show for the international fresh fruit and vegetable business to represent French Apple in Asia.

ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016 attracted more than 11000 top decision-makers from 74 countries to Hong Kong. A growth of 22% compared with 2015. Altogether, some 665 companies from 37 different countries exhibited their products and services at the trade fair. For sure those figures will increase for 2017!
Bleu Whale teams are satisfied with the 2017 edition. 

Element Terre Bio : new brand, new website!

Since January 2017, the association called « Les fruiticulteurs Bio de nos campagnes » has been created to bring together Organic apple and kiwi growers from Garonne Valley to Loire Valley. These growers conduct their orchards with a high respect of Nature and Mankind by offering fruit from Organic agriculture. Today, while their fruit are still growing on the trees, they are proud to announce that a brand is born: Element Terre Bio. This authentic brand is now launched thanks to the website http://www.element-terre-bio.fr/ where you can find growers, their organic fruit and some nice and easy recipes. See you soon to bite in an Element Terre Bio apple.

Direct access to Element Terre Bio website

Innov’action in Lizac at Jean-Louis Bouysset’s farm

On Tuesday, 7th of June 2017, Jean Louis Bouysset, Blue Whale apples and kiwis grower, opened his orchards for the Innov’action 2017 event.

This initiative is led by the chambers of agriculture of Occitania (French region). The aim is to present the new techniques used by farmers. The Innov’Action issues are to detect and valorize innovating farmers. These discovery days allow professionals to exchange, but also to integrate little by little the innovation in agriculture and finally to create a dynamic on the different territories of our region.

This was the opportunity for Jean Louis Bouysset to introduce to us his organic parcels and his new irrigation systems.

The Organic culture at the Bouysset farm is a long-standing story. It all started in 2003 with a conversion of 3ha Hayward kiwis. Then, over the years, conversions of apple varieties succeeded, such as Canada and Ariane and finally there was the development of organic varieties such as Crimson, Opal, Dalinette … If we ask Jean-Louis Bouysset, why he decided to develop organic farming in his orchards, he answers spontaneously that it is first of all to protect the environment but also for economic reasons.

Today, he counts 9ha of organic apples and 3ha of organic kiwis on a whole 30 hectares. His 3 year project is to continue developing varieties resistant to scab to the cost of varieties such as Braeburn, Rouges and Granny… To go even further, Jean-Louis whispers us that he still wants to develop agrobiology in his orchards. The practice of sexual confusion is not new for him because it has been in place for 15 years in his orchards and today it is present on the whole farm. He wants to test the bands of flowers and the fallow lands. The aim is to favour auxiliaries (insects, spiders) to decrease the amount of aphids.

Beautiful projects on this family farm combining both technology and respect for the environment.

Blue Whale is getting ready for the new harvest

We have had a great spring for the blossoming of the fruit trees and have a certain precocity in all regions.

Cold periods between the 20th and the 28th April have caused important damage all around Europe with 3 cold spells successively with frost during the night.

Since 10 years now, we have not had late frost episodes and some of Blue Whale producers had forgot about the risks.

In the Loire Valley, partner producers have been the most affected by these night frosts.

The Blue Whale group has highly invested in the fight against frost. These investments have enabled to save the harvest.

We must continue in investing to reach a 100% protection. The loss of potential per hectare is estimated, as of today, at around 10% loss of volume.

Since the last 4 years, the important investments made by the producers of the Blue Whale group in developing orchards have highly increased our potential as from this year. This allows to make up for the loss.

Our harvest perspective will be as the same as 2016 / 2017 harvest for apples, plums and kiwis.

For the 7th time, Blue Whale took part in the Marathon of Montauban.

Last weekend, the 25th-26th of March 2017, the Marathon of Montauban celebrated its 10th year. Blue Whale, a faithful player company, engaged running and walking teams for the 7th consecutive year.

Previous years, the Marathon of Montauban lit up the hearth of the city, but for the 2017 edition, it was put on Cours Foucault, large green area, and offered new run and walk routes. More than 3500 people were on the start this Sunday morning of which about 100 from the Blue Whale Group.

We would like to give a special thank to employees, fruit-growers, suppliers and packhouses staff who participated and worn the Blue Whale brand colours during this event. Meet you there next year!

A.D.I.VALOR gives a bench to Blue Whale Company, strong proof of our commitment in recycling hail nets

Blue Whale thanks A.D.I.VALOR Company for receiving a bench made by MP Industrie Company based in Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône region, South-East of France), using recycled old agricultural plastics and more precisely hail nets.

A.D.I.VALOR (A for Farmers in French Distributors Industrials for VALOrisation of agricultural wastes) is a private non-profit company (SAS). ADIVALOR is a voluntary and collective initiative of the whole agricultural profession. Responsibility is shared between farmers, distributors and industrials. ADIVALOR is based on a network of 1,300 collecting operators that allowed to collect 71,000 tons of worn out plastics and packaging in 2015.

French agriculture is exemplary in the management of its waste without equivalent in the world. The French know-how in agro-supply waste management is a reference, both at European and Global level.

Plastic nets for protection, the hail nets cover in France more than 17,000 hectares of orchards. At Blue Whale, there are 82% of apple orchards, 62% of plum trees and 20% of kiwi surfaces protected by nets. In the South West of France, Blue Whale nets cover about 2,000 hectares.

Composed of low density of polyethylene, these nets have a lifespan of 10-15 years. The use of nets in the arboricultural world has increased a lot since the years 2000. Therefore, nets wastes have multiplied over the past 5 years. So, in order to add value to these wastes, since 2015, the arboriculture industry, manufacturers and distributors of nets have joined forces within ADIVALOR to organize a national sector of management for these particular plastics.

Blue Whale wanted to participate in this initiative from the start, encouraging fruit-growers facilitating the collect organization. For the third consecutive year, Blue Whale nets will be used to make various street furniture.

Receiving this bench in Montauban, at Blue Whale’s head-office, is a nice symbol of the efforts of our fruit-growers and our company in recycling, and more largely in the growing involvement in a dynamic sustainable development.

More information on the site http://www.adivalor.fr/

Fruit Logistica Berlin celebrates its 25th anniversary!

On 8th, 9th and 10th of February this year, the Fruit Logistica in Berlin blew its 25th candle.

Since 25 years, things have happened … Blue Whale has grown and the Fruit Logistica Berlin too! Although originally there were only 100 exhibitors from all over the world, today, for the 2017 edition, which is a very busy year according to the first figures, there were about 3,100 people from 86 countries! Visits were also very important this year, with more than 70,000 visitors from 130 countries! Fruit Logistica has gained the reputation of being the world’s biggest trade fair for fruit and vegetables, an unmissable event in the sector!

Blue Whale welcomed you during the 3 days on its stand in the heart of the France lodge to present its innovations, meet customers and partners, but also to learn about the trends and the latest innovations of the sector. The returns of this 2017 edition are very positive! See you next year!


To continue its sustainable development approach, Blue Whale Group joins the apicultural sector aiming to learn well the expectations of each part and work in common. Indeed, our fruit-growers want to favour a good pollination in their orchards respecting biodiversity and so pollination insects both wild and domestic.

Since 1 year, we have been exchanging regularly with the association ADAM (development of apiculture in Midi Pyrenees region). This association provide us its apicultural know-how.

Various actions are led together during this year of partnership:

  • Creation of a Blue Whale leaflet for our fruit-growers to help learn the good pollination practices in orchards.
  • Series of bees and pollen observations present in Blue Whale orchards during the pollination. These measurement are made by ADAM association checked by ITSAP institute, paid by ANPP and done in Blue Whale Eco responsive orchards.
  • Organization of an informational colloquium about pollination, pollinating insects and apicultural sector discovery. This technical morning was organized by Blue Whale on Tuesday 24th of January with INRA, ADAM, ITSAP and ANPP associations. About sixty participants, beekeepers, fruit-growers and technicians made the trip for this meeting which was enriching for everybody.

Guests words:

Michel B. “It was a very interesting morning and I will apply several things on my farm”

Marie D. “Congratulations for this pollination meeting, I Found it really interesting”

Vincent K. “Fabulous initiative, delighted to discover the tree-growing sector”  

Les Fruiticulteurs Bio de nos Campagnes is born!

On Friday, 20 January, the General Assembly of the “Fruiticulteurs Bio de nos Campagnes” (Organic Fruit Growers from our countryside) was held in Montauban.

Nearly 70 growers and organic stakeholders were present to participate in the creation of this association, which is essential to the development of the organic sector of our producers.

Why an association?

It makes it possible to group under the same banner, the organic growers, the approved packing stations but also commercial or technical players. At the creation, 61 members from 3 production areas joined the project.

Unanimously elected:

  • Chairman : Olivier Sabathié
  • Vice chairman :  Jean Pierre Antoniolli
  • Secretary: Eric Timmerman
  • Treasurer: Alain Vialaret

The association will be the technical meeting place so that everyone can bring their expertise to the service of other members, in order to meet the challenges of organic culture. Several visits and technical meetings are already in the program of 2017.

“Fruiticulteurs Bio de nos Campagnes” will promote our countryside, our producers and the fruit of their work.

Blue Whale wishes good luck to this project!

Joya®, the last little one arrives on stalls January 11th of 2017!

Joya® apple is one of the last apples harvested. It is picked at the end of November and arrives on stalls now, at the beginning of January, after a few weeks of maturation.

It is the tonic bicolour apple that gives punch for the end of winter!

Joya® has a tangy flavour, is very crispy and refreshing in the mouth.

Since the launch of this apple in 2012, Blue Whale wants to develop its orchards.

Last year, Blue Whale’s Joya® production represented a volume of 3,000 tons. More than 70% of this production was sold in 22 countries including France, Germany and Great Britain, the winning trio fond of Joya® last year.

For this new season, Blue Whale harvest is about 3,300 tons (10% more than last year). This year, the weather conditions were very favorable, meaning good color rate. A promise of a beautiful quality production in our 3 areas: Southwest, Loire Valley and Southeast. Blue Whale’s goal is to develop Joya® brand sales and open up new markets.

As every year, marketing tools will be offered to boost sales and promote the brand throughout the season of the Joya® apple: various promotional tools and operations will be available in stores.

Celebrations are over, be tonic with Joya®!

The taste of our apples …

This weekend, two Blue Whale Fruit-growers, Albert and Olivier opened their orchards respectively in Angers (49 FR) and Grisolles (82 FR) to let us discover their work and the taste of their apples.

People of all ages were invited to visit the orchards, taste different varieties of apples and cook them. 

Apple varieties such as Chantecler, Blue Reine®, Royal Gala, Tentation® and Ariane les Naturianes® were offered for tasting to learn how to discover all the flavours they hold. Did you know for example that some apple varieties reveal anise or banana flavour…!

The apple is eaten raw as well as cooked. Charles Soussin and Charlotte Lavige, our chefs, hosted small workshops, presenting quick and fun recipes for delicious sweet and savory dishes. This apple discovery day made everyone crazy about apples, click our link to see if you are too: Fous de pommes

The harvest has well begun by Christophe Belloc

It’s during those first autumn days, under a clear sky and more bearable temperatures, that our group of producers is extremely mobilized for the beginning of this new season. At this time, about 4 apple varieties are harvested.

The first apples are even on stall to make happy gourmet people. Blue Whale fruitgrowers are really involved but have to deal with climatic hazard.

Blue Whale Group is also linked to this rhythm though the activity has less and less seasonal changes.

Our new harvest is available and it’s good both on quantity and quality. We are very proud to show you our work after long months of orchard and fruit care.

Enjoy the season and do not forget to eat French apples!

Blue Whale is in the TV news

Yesterday, 28th of September, we welcomed Tv reporter team for France 3 French channel, in Olivier Sabathié’s orchards and at our fruit cooperative Stanor. This report was broadcasted during the 7 PM news putting the spotlight on French apples.