Last week a new apple label was launched at the Ministry of Agriculture: “100% pommes de France” (apples 100% from France). It was created by the French Apple Juice Association. Consumers will be able to choose apple juices from brands with the new label on them.
Almost 2 million tons of apples are produced every year in France. There are over 1,000 varieties, of which 400 are table apples and over 800 are for cider. Apples used for juice are a mixture of these two categories. Apples are the most consumed fruit in France and the apple juice sector is doing well.
This new label is not just so the produce can be recognised by consumers, it also represents commitments made by the sector. Members of the association have agreed on five main principles. The first is that orchards producing for the label are in France, reducing their carbon footprint. The second principle concerns sustainable agriculture. The whole sector cannot produce organically, but they can apply a policy to reduce phytosanitary treatments through research and alternative techniques. Little by little, in a few years time, we may be able to consume apples that are not full of pesticides.
The label will also allow consumers to trace where the apples were processed, which will also reduce the carbon footprint. The relationship between the producers and processors will be reinforced, the contracts binding the two are for either 15 or 18 years. The producer promises to only deliver healthy apples that are controlled upon reception. The members also agree to never work with GMOs.