“Our equipment is not depreciated yet, a new technology is coming to the market,” explains Yvon Sarraute, president of Tarn-et-Garonne cuma Meauzac Barry.
Technology moves fast. Hence the choice of twenty or so members of this kuma to invest and regularly update certain equipment in godfather to support farm profitability. “Example: stripper. Last winter we invested in this machine that blows on the leaves and causes some of them to fall a week before harvest. The goal is to improve the coloration of the fruit. Five years ago, no one was talking about this,” explains Yvon Sarraute.
Specialization and technicality
The 20 members work on horticultural farms, mostly on alluvial land, near the banks of the Tarn. Apples and pears make up the main products, complemented by stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, plums, cherries, etc.) and some areas of cereals. Surfaces are irrigated and equipped with frost protection sprinklers as well as anti-hail nets.
“Without these protections, production would not be possible,” notes Yvon Sarraute, who believes that dangerous climatic conditions that greatly affect production occur one year out of two.
“Some members belong to the Blue Whale Producer Group and/or the Society of Agricultural Cooperatives. [Sica] Stanor in Moissac. The fact of having the same interlocutors, the same specifications, “allows us to consolidate needs and requests for joint investment,” Yvon Sarraute points out.
The President notes with satisfaction that all members of the cooperative have buyers. The same trend towards renewal in cuma de Meauzac Barry, where 50% of the members are between the ages of 20 and 35. “The results of our activities are positive both from a technical and economic point of view. That’s not to say there’s no cause for concern,” he restrained, before citing water management, declining input use and labor shortages as examples.
“But overall, our specialized operations are going well. And our schemes allow us to export to more than 80 countries: in this way, each type of fruit finds its own market.” Organic and conventional surfaces coexist well, including among cuma.
Complementarity of generations and territory
Yvon Sarraute suggests complementarity at the level of generations and territory.
“Now I have settled in Gayech with my family. Once my son settled in, I moved away from exploitation a bit and took on a lot of responsibilities, especially in paid work and engineering. For example, I am the president of Céfel. [Centre d’expérimentation fruits et légumes]. And I make some surfaces available for experimentation. We must innovate to improve make our business profitable and sustainable»
“It allowed the next generation to have fun professionally. For my part, I collect valuable information. If I know a device that will help farmers, I don’t keep it with me. Also for this reason I go to the Saturday morning market in Montauban. This allows me to communicate with everyone. consumers, but also producers.
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