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Panzani to develop a French tomato production chain

14/03/2024 - François-Xavier Branthôme - Lire en français
The group, which by 2024 will be using the equivalent of 6,000 tonnes of fresh French tomatoes, has a "gradual ramp-up plan".  

"We're committed to developing a French supply chain" for tomatoes, said Panzani CEO Albert Mathieu on February 7, 2024, at a press conference to launch several new fresh pasta references. He believes that, at present, French production is not sufficiently developed for the group to depend completely on national sourcing. "We need 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes for our products, and total French production is just 140,000 tonnes, for overall French needs of 1 million tonnes," he says. The French group sources its tomatoes from Spain and Italy.

 Guaranteeing sales outlets
"As from the next harvest, we will start using the equivalent of 6,000 tonnes of fresh French tomatoes," assured Albert Mathieu. A "gradual ramp-up plan" is planned for the coming years. He explained: "We are determined to develop this sector so that we can gradually implement a strategy for tomatoes similar to the one we have built up over the last few years for durum wheat." For its Panzani brand pasta, the pasta maker had set itself the target of sourcing 100% of its durum wheat from its "Blé Responsable Français" (BRF = Responsible French Wheat) program by 2025. It currently buys up one third of the French durum wheat harvest.

For the past year and a half, Panzani has been working with Le Panier Provençal, a company that processes tomatoes into pulp. The aim is to "provide visibility on the ramp-up, work on multi-year contracts, and guarantee outlets for growers," explains Albert Mathieu. "The tomato-durum wheat rotation is a very good one. We're working on a holistic plan, as there are many synergies between these two crops."
The new fresh pasta range (plain and filled), to be launched in March 2024, will be made from French "BRF" durum wheat. Volumes will be "quite minimal", but will "be added to the 470,000 tonnes we buy from France today", says Albert Mathieu.

Panzani will also be offering gnocchi, made mainly from potato flakes. They will be sourced from northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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