The french production

France, the country of quality shallot plants

All the prerequisites for quality

France is recognized worldwide for the quality of the garlic plants it produces. French garlic crops are grown in a rich and diversified soil in favourable climatic conditions, and the industry involves a network of skilled professionals covering all areas of garlic plant production, from plant breeding to marketing. Strict production standards have been determined and are rigorously applied by all involved in the industry in order to guarantee garlic plants comply with the highest quality and food safety standards.

A favourable soil and climate

The pedoclimatic conditions in France are ideal for producing quality garlic plants in a wide range of varieties. Over 10 varieties are propagated over 125 ha in 4 regions: Brittany, Pays de Loire, Auvergne and Rhône Alpes. These regions have a long tradition of cultivating shallot and optimum climatic conditions. Long crop rotations, 5 years and more, improve soil quality and reduce the damage caused by pests and disease.

Over 25 years of close collaboration between public research institutions and professionals

The INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), and its subsidiary company Agriobtentions (since 2003), have been working in close collaboration with professionals for over 25 years in order to cover all aspects pertaining to shallot cultivation: (meristem cultivation, cross-breeding, research on diseases: viruses, rot…). This collaboration means the industry is always at the cutting edge of progress, and capable of meeting both the requirements of farmers and demands tied to the changing face of the market.

Breeding all types of new shallot varieties

Breeding is currently carried out by Agriobtentions as well as a few commercial breeders with the help of numerous partners (farmers, cooperatives, GIE…). Varieties are selected based on precocity, conservation, bulb shape and colour, and resistance to disease (downy mildew) etc... Trials are carried out through an organized network in order to better evaluate plant behaviour.

Strict methods applied to shallot plant production

In order to obtain the best quality garlic plants, professionals have implemented a strict production scheme. First generation plants are propagated under insect-proof tunnels in order to prevent viral contamination and are disinfected by thermotherapy against nematodes.

Closely monitored production

Throughout their growth cycle, plants are closely monitored by SOC-approved technicians (SOC: Official Inspection and Certification Body). Samples are tested and checked for nematodes (which require strict quarantine measures). Mandatory laboratory tests carried out on batches rather than propagation plots aim to guarantee the quality of plants as standards grow stricter. For instance, French certification standards are stricter than those established by European Directives.

Producer farms that are equipped with high-end technology

Plant propagation is performed on farms by highly skilled and specialized farmers. This work is carried out by 42 farmers and cultivated acreage is approx. 135 ha. This task requires highly skilled workers and appropriate equipment for production and conservation.

Satisfied customers

Readily identified by a blue label (certificate or label delivered by the SOC), farmers and amateur gardeners can purchase garlic plants that meet SOC certification standards.

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