Marc Rauffet and Nathalie Bonnet

Loire Valley-based apple producer Innatis has announced a new collaboration with Domaine des Coteaux, a local producer of peaches and nectarines, as well as apricots, cherries and kiwifruit.

Innatis described it as a “huge step forward” for the company as it seeks to diversify with investments in stonefruit production.

Founded in 1989 by Robert Bonnet, Domaine des Coteaux is known for its commitment to sustainable and ecofriendly fruits, having implemented Integrated Fruit Production back in the early 1990s.

Since then the grower has increased production to 13,000 tonnes a year, while adding multiple environmental certifications and labels, including HVE (High Environmental Value), Vergers Ecoresponsables and Label Rouge.

“Innatis and the Domaine des Coteaux share similar values, their main goal being to produce quality and healthy fruits while ensuring environmental sustainability,” Innatis stated. “Being producers first and foremost, we are dedicated to develop our orchards and support the people who work there. Our objective is to focus on sustainable approaches and offer long-term perspectives to our workers by investing in the future of our plantations.”

Innatis president Marc Rauffet added: “Our pioneering spirit, our expertise and the special care we pay to nature bring us together and that’s why this collaboration makes sense.”

Both companies recognise the importance of investing in the orchard to research new varieties and develop new innovative production techniques, he said.

“Renewal is at the core of our common approach and this collaboration will allow us to join forces in order to modernise and make a success of our orchards,” explained Nathalie Bonnet, who will continue as CEO at Domaine des Coteaux, as well as joining the Innatis board.