PRODUCER & TERROIR
A family farm in Chateauneuf-sur-Isère
Jean-Philippe Boisset’s farm originally belonged to his parents, and he developed it extensively with help from his brothers. This family business in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère combines apricot and apple orchards, as well as vineyards for a wine cooperative. He is motivated by a desire to excel; as he puts it, “I want to be best in class.” He likes to work with people who set the highest standards and improve year on year. As such, our specifications presented a fantastic challenge.
” All of us here are parents or grandparents, and I want to be able to take some fruit from my orchard and give it to my granddaughter, without having to think first. ”apricot farmer, has taken over his parents’ farm with his brothers.
Zero Pesticide Residues and Perfectly Ripe Fruit
On average, Jean-Philippe treats his zero-pesticide-residue Lido apricot orchards seven times, as opposed to the standard ten to fifteen times. Moreover, the products he uses are milder and less aggressive than they used to be. Generally speaking, he tries to use a strictly minimal amount of inputs on each plot. As he explains, he and his colleagues aren’t interested in chemical treatments: The fewer they use, the happier they are. But because natural alternatives aren’t always available or risks occasionally need to be prevented, chemicals are necessary from time to time. As a result, decisions about the orchards are guided by careful thought. Just enough and not a drop more is used, so that fruit is at its best.
This quest for unique produce is pursued by carefully controlling the watering process using micro-irrigation. This technique can also be used to put trees under mild water stress at just the right moment, so fruit becomes more aromatic. Mr. Boisset is an expert when it comes to growing perfectly ripe fruit, as opposed to overripe produce that would diminish purées’ final flavor.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ACTION
« All of us here are parents or grandparents, and I want to be able to take some fruit from my orchard and give it to my granddaughter, without having to worry.” Jean-Philippe’s personal beliefs have therefore been as much of a factor as consumer demand in driving changes in his orchard. Jean-Philippe’s agroecological approach is tangible on the property and has secured him Level 3 High Environmental Value certification from the French state. One example initiative is the organic, biodegradable glue that goes around tree trunks to stop insects from getting at the fruit. He also showed us the planting he had done between the rows of trees which, by helping an ecosystem to thrive, encourages fruit to grow.
Some issues are harder to resolve if they are to be done properly. Until recently, glyphosate was commonly used right up to trees’ bases. This prevented grass from growing, ensuring apricot trees got the water they needed. With his growers’ group, Jean-Philippe has experimented with several solutions for replacing glyphosate. He set himself one rule, which was to avoid treating the soil directly, as he wanted to keep the creatures that live off it alive. Several trials are now underway using woven covers, deep irrigation and electrical weeding. There is also a specially designed lawn that causes no harm to living things and requires minimal water as it is mixed with clover.
Working with Partner Producers Too
We always want our supply chains to be as short and direct as possible and to work with a single producer whenever we can. However, if we use two varieties of the same fruit or orchards are too small to meet our needs, we will work with several producer partners instead. We always apply the same standards, specifications and commitments as we do with the grower we present to you in greater depth. Fruit supply chains often require teamwork, and it is essential we get to know all our growers and support their efforts.
Jean Philippe Boisset Chateauneuf sur Isère France
Carlos Dias Gorrilhes Beaucaire France