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Melon harvest too fruitful for France

Published on August 17, 2010

Charentais melons are sweet, juicy and an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C. And this summer, in their native France, there are just too many of them.

Faced with a surfeit of the yellow melons, the Interprofessional Melon Association appealed to consumers on Tuesday to go out and buy more of the popular fruit.

“We’re in crisis because we’ve had very bad climatic conditions,” the association’s Bernard Miozzo told AFP.

Melons planted in May and June arrived two to three weeks late, coinciding with the on-time arrival of the June-July crop, he explained.

Thus there are up to 8,000 tonnes of melons available every day, whereas the market can absorb 5,000 to 5,500 tonnes, and prices are off 15 percent this week from their five-year average.

To turn the tide, the association — which unites producers and distributors — are mapping out a promotion campaign for next weekend, and while the idea of a clearance sale on melons is mooted, producers are hoping to avoid that step.

For its part, the FCD distribution and retailers’ group said that supermarkets would be putting Charentais melons on promotion and displaying them more prominently in their shopping aisles.