The CTIFL in a nutshell
Created in 1952, our organisation, the Interprofessional Technical Centre for Fruits and Vegetables (CTIFL), is the reference in applied research for the fruit and vegetable sector, from production to distribution. Our main mission is to help professionals meet the challenges of sustainable production and consumer satisfaction in a constantly changing, increasingly competitive and demanding context.
Our priority is to have a positive impact on the sector through our actions. Our five research centres carry out experimentation and research programs on the issues identified in the sector and provide technically and economically viable solutions.
We propose and develop a range of services, professional tools and training courses as well as publications in various formats to transfer these innovative practices and provide the best possible support to the stakeholders in the sector.
Recognized as a competent authority, we carry out the control and certification of fruit propagation materials, excluding strawberry plants.
Our stakes and strategic axes
Search for alternatives to pesticides
As the biocontrol products available do not yet cover all phytosanitary problems, we are experimenting with many so-called "alternative" techniques: physical or biological techniques and cultivation systems that limit the risks linked to pests and diseases, thus reducing the use of pesticides:
- Mulching, mechanical weeding, crop rotation,
- Use of greenhouses and other protected structures, protective nets, repellent plants, preventive measures,
- Resistant and/or tolerant varieties and rootstocks, introduction of beneficial insects, mating disruption,
- Implementing techniques to enhance and maintain functional biodiversity (natural predators).
Maintaining the quality of fruits and vegetables for consumers
In order to maintain and increase the quality of products throughout the marketing channel up to the point of sale and to guarantee quality to the consumer, we develop and test tools and practices adapted to each product for the professionals in the sector:
- Maintaining taste, aroma and nutritional qualities up to the point of sale,
- Development of quality measurement tools,
- Evolution of products in the marketing chain,
- Maintaining product quality at the point of sale,
- Packaging studies,
- Impact of transportation.
Reducing energy consumption and conserving resources
We are improving greenhouse practices to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and experimenting with innovative facilities and equipment to develop more efficient means of energy production:
- Development of technologies to reduce energy consumption: insulation, climate control based on plant physiology,
- Research into non-fossil fuel alternatives: capture and storage of solar energy, geothermal energy, dehumidification.
Studies and development of mechanisation and automation technologies
In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the sector through technology, we study the solutions provided by mechanisation and automation and are oriented towards the digitalisation of practices with a view to the crops of tomorrow:
- Precision agriculture: automated management of inputs and fertilizers, automated spraying, automated weeding,
- Cost reduction: robotisation and harvesting assistance in orchards and greenhouses,
- Analysis of packing station needs.
Changes in fruit and vegetable consumption patterns
In order to meet societal expectations, we study the evolution of consumer preferences and consumption patterns, in order to assist professionals in developing products that meet these new trends or new markets:
- Consumer and consumer preference tests,
- Analysis of trends and consumption patterns,
- Innovations/new preparation methods.