EXCLUSIVE MAINTENANCE. For the president of Andros “the next fruit season will be one of the most terrible”

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In the face of the current crisis, Andros is holding up quite well thanks to its international positioning and diversification strategy. Florian Delmas, president of Andros Group, however foresees a still difficult 2023 for the fruit sector. He answered La Dépêche’s questions.

While the eight finalists of the “Fruits de talent, Andros Chef” competition remained focused on their pastries, a group consisting of one of the Korean distributors and ten of his customers discovered the Andros Orchard in Biars this weekend. . These partners from Korea, where Andros has been established since 2008/2009, were able to discover the historic site and its fruit know-how. In particular the range of professional ingredients and its novelties.

It is in this context that Florian Delmas, president of the Andros group, gave an exclusive interview to La Dépêche du Midi.

Florian Delmas has ambitions for his group and for the French fruit industry.
Group photo Andros-DR – Cedric Hisbergue

How was the “Andros Chef” line born?

It happened five years ago, in 2018. For many cooks, chefs and catering professionals, Andros was just a brand of products intended for mass consumption, a manufacturer of juices and compotes. . The whole challenge was there, to make ourselves known differently with them thanks to our proposals of 100% natural fruit ingredients and without any added flavouring. The “Fruits de talent” competition was also launched in 2021.

How successful are these “Andros Chef” products?

This recognition among professionals is now acquired and is growing thanks to users. We also have the technical know-how and skills to produce ingredients adapted to the expectations and needs of pastry chefs, ice cream makers, pastry chefs, etc. We are very satisfied in terms of business development, yet we have had two very impactful years, due to the health crisis. Today we export to 29 countries. We have several professional ranges of fruit coming out from our farms in Vietnam, China, New Zealand, USA.

“We continue to produce with growing raw materials”

How is the Andros group coping with the particularly complex economic situation?

There was Covid, then the war in Ukraine, logistical problems and then staggering inflation. We have chosen to reduce our margins. But there is a kind of government hysteria about wanting to lower prices. Inflation is slowing but not coming down. So we continue to produce with increasing raw materials, from fruit to glass jars. All levels of supply contract. Luckily, Andros has its own international market, which helps us make it.

In the Andros Experimental Orchard the red berry bushes have developed well.

In the Andros Experimental Orchard the red berry bushes have developed well.
MDD Laeb

However, we see the upcoming fruit season as one of the most dire. Our arborists bought their equipment at a huge cost to ensure the 2023 harvest. This will be a peak year for the cost of fruit. We also need to consider global warming and drought to allow our agriculture to adapt, we have reliable projections and plant expertise for that.

What is the economic balance of all this?

Faced with rising prices and consumers who want to spend less, on the one hand we see a drop in our volumes of -5%; and with inflation on the other hand, a growth of the market in value from +8 to +10%. In this context, we must preserve our companies, reducing our investments, hiring a little less, until it passes.

Is Andros planning to review its projects and investments?

We want to remain dynamic, convinced that the quality of our fruit and vegetables will make the difference. Our production capacity must expand, especially through developments abroad. As for France, our dried fruit project has been completed and paves the way for us to diversify our business.

Here, as internationally, we will continue our commitments in the fruit sector because we are seeing deforestation in France which will be catastrophic.

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