Our agricultural sectors

The gherkin is our most prized product! In India, Reitzel is committed to guaranteeing an efficient supply chain from the seed to the jar, and has been working in France and Switzerland since 2015 to revive the pickle farming sector.

In France

2 years ago, Reitzel France embarked upon its mission to revive the French gherkin farming sector under its brand Jardin d’Orante. In 2018, Reitzel France collaborated with 11 farmers, in contrast to just 2 in 2016 and 5 and 2017.

From Sarthe, Loir-et-Cher, Maine et Loire and Indre et Loire, these 11 farmers joined forces with Reitzel in 2018 to increase gherkin yield significantly in comparison to the previous year, in order to produce more than 500,000 jars of French gherkins. This accounts for 17 hectares of gherkins (around 200 tonnes of which are French gherkins) grown in 2018.

In Switzerland

For more than 20 years, Reitzel Switzerland has been collaborating with Swiss cucumber and gherkin farmers. And this partnership has grown year on year: from just 5 in 2014, the number of farmers who have decided to get on board has now grown to 20 in 2020.

Today, 9 of these farmers are based in German-speaking Switzerland in the cantons of Thurgau, St Gall, Bern, Aargau and Zürich, the remaining 3 based in French-speaking Switzerland in Vaud and Valais. Together they grow between 400 and 500 tonnes of these prized cucurbits across a total surface area of 11.5 hectares.

And Reitzel’s commitment to Swiss agriculture doesn’t stop there: with the launch of HUGO Swiss mustards and mayonnaises in 2018, Reitzel has established new collaborations with Swiss farmers, notably those producing mustard seeds in the canton of Vaud and wild garlic in Ticino, Zürich and Aargau, and chicken farmers in the canton of Lucerne.

In India

The group’s Indian production subsidiary, Reitzel India, was created in 2005 to manage and ensure a high-quality, integrated gherkin production chain, from the seed to the jar.

Today, our gherkins are grown in 4 agricultural areas, located in 4 southern states of India: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, and Telangana.

6000 farmers receive training and advice to improve the efficiency and quality of their gherkin production. More than 100 Reitzel farm technicians implement good farming practices and provide farmers with suitable seeds and fertilisers, respecting sustainable farming principles.

Reitzel India also has its own experimental farms in order to carry out field trials and test the best farming solutions in real conditions before implementing them on a larger scale.

5000–6000 Indian farmers work with Reitzel each year. I say “with” and not “for”, as our relationship goes far beyond the principle of sub-contracting. To provide them with the fairest revenue possible, we consider all their needs and constraints, which we then merge with those of our company. We are able to monitor them individually using our network of human and technical resources that we mobilise across the fields.

Gaël AZATKHANIAN, Agri and Sustainable Development Manager