The 2021 Madagascar lychee campaign officially kicked off on 17 November with the start of the first harvests. Set to equal the 2020 edition, the campaign promises bumper harvests with the fruit in great shape and volumes poised to meet expectations. Lychees enjoyed good weather conditions as they developed on the tree – rainfall and temperatures both just right – which bodes well for optimal taste quality for December and the festive season.
The first shipments by sea, on the legendary “Baltic Klipper” already moored at the port of Toamasina since last Sunday, should be ready to go by the end of this week and are scheduled to arrive in Marseille on 4 or 5 December. After sailing, the boat will go through the Suez Canal laden with nearly 7,000 tonnes of lychees ready to bring a touch of exoticism to French and European market stands.
To track progress end-to-end on this seasonal campaign and witness at first hand the huge amount of work crammed into such a short space of time – in just a few days, the fruit is harvested, selected, treated and carefully packaged to ensure that it loses none of its sensory qualities – SIIM sent a team on site headed by sales director Jean-François Vallet, who said: “It is a truly extraordinary campaign that puts all the links in the value chain under the spotlight, from producers to logistics specialists and transporters, who are on a war footing to succeed in delivering the lychees to all the distribution networks of the European market in record time […]. At SIIM, although we know these processes well and have the expertise to manage seasonal campaigns, as for the West African mango, I’ve never experienced such effervescence, as impressive as it is exciting!”
Certified GlobalG.A.P. and Grasp (GlobalG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice), the production of Madagascar lychees meets international standards in terms of socially and environmentally respectful farming practices. In recent years, part of the production has also borne the Fairtrade label, which allows the financing of initiatives benefiting local producers.