The hazelnut is an edible nut fruit produced by the hazelnut tree. The hazelnut sector is a sector that characterizes the actors who produce, process and market hazelnuts. Hazelnut harvests are carried out from August to October depending on the varieties and geography.
The hazelnut market in France includes 250 producers of 40 departments for a production grouped on more than 4500 hectares giving France a place in the top 10 hazelnut producers worldwide with Turkey being the largest producer by far. The hazelnut market in France is monopolistically dominated by the agricultural cooperative Unicoque which represents 98% of French production and 60% of the European market.
The hazelnut market in France is focused on international expansion and search for a critical size by increasing the surface area by 400 hectares per year. However, the sector faces various disadvantages such as climatic hazards for hazelnut production and remains dominated by a few major groups such as Ferrero .
At the moment, the French sector only weighs 1 % on the market for hazelnuts for industry dominated by Turkey (75%) and Italy (10-15%). The challenge is therefore to the increase in its production capacity and the decentralisation/deconcentration of production activities hitherto focused on two main French regions in order to meet the exponential growth in demand, driven by the rising standard of living in emerging countries.
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