Orchards in France
17.12.2018, by Bénédicte Gaillard
Some writings about orchards in France dating from the 16th Century have been found.
It is a characteristic landscape in France. In 2010 the surface of orchards in France was 134.000 ha, that is 28.000 ha less than in 2010. Walnuts constituted the second orchard in France. Except for kiwis and walnuts all the surfaces of orchards are decreasing. The number of exploitations has also reduced, thus the average size of orchards per exploitation has increased. They ware 24.000 in 2000 and 17.000 in 2010. The highest decrease in surface concerns peach trees (- 40%) and pear trees (- 45%). Apple trees are the most important orchards in term of surface. Plum trees and apricot trees resist better to the decrease in surface.
The first production basin is the South East region (Rhônes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon) which concentrate half of the fruits exploitations and the orchards, with 49% of the exploitations and 50% of the surfaces. In the South West the Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées regions form the second production basin with 28% of the exploitations and 30% of the surfaces. The Centre and Pays de la Loire regions represent the third basin with 4% of the exploitations and 7% of the surfaces. 19% of the exploitations and 13% of the surfaces are spread in the other regions. For example 2% of the exploitations and 3% of the surfaces are located in Corsica.
In the North (Normandie and Brittany) mainly apples (Calvados, Cidre etc) and pears., also in Champagne and all the regions in the east of France towards the German boarder
In the South: cherries, peach, almond, chestnuts, walnuts mostly in intensive orchards and certainly olives
64 mio t apples worldwide, 2 mio t in France
3rd producer of fruits in Europe after IT and ES
2% of the Agric. Land
In the north you have direct selling of fruits and products – I don’t know about it in the South
Pick-your own fruits in the Paris region (at least close to my home place)
BUT: more important is wine production
Orchard is defined as “11 species” orchard including: apricot tree, cherry tree, peach and nectarine tree, plum tree, apple tree, pear tree, kiwi, citruses, small fruits, nuts, vineyards for grapes to eat)