Cork Farmer’s Homemade Fruit Compotes
February 16, 2013
Clotilde Fitzgibbon has brought a little bit of France to the village of Glanworth, near Mitchelstown and to consumers in the Munster region. Apple-based fruit compotes produced by Clotilde in her kitchen are now selling in 25 shops, including Supervalu and Centra stores, less than two years after the product hit the market.
French native Clotilde came to Ireland 20 years ago and married tillage farmer Paddy Fitzgibbon. The couple have three children, aged 18, 16 and 11. She was asked by local dairy farmer Pat Landers what French products might work well in Ireland. Having grown up on a farm, she suggested apple-based fruit compotes.
She formed a business partnership with Pat Landers and Clotilde’s Compotes was born. It is a handmade, homemade artisan product, naturally high in fibre and dairy free with no added sugar. It comes in six different flavours and, having gained a foothold in Munster, Clotilde and Pat are now starting to put their toes in the Dublin market.
Clotilde’s Compotes is an active member of ‘A Taste of Ballyhoura Country’, the initiative established by Ballyhoura Development to showcase the region’s craftisan foods. Clotilde did a marketing course run by Ballyhoura Development and also completed the Ballyhoura Country Code of Practice which puts special emphasis on traceability and labelling verified by independent assessment.
She was one of just 11 food producers selected to participate in last year’s Enterprise Ireland Supervalu supplier development programme which is aimed at assisting emerging Irish food companies to achieve retail listings. The six-month programme, which is supported by Bord Bia and Teagasc, helps companies to achieve the product quality, service standards and technical innovation to reach supermarket shelves.
The product is gaining popularity across all age groups. It is particularly suitable for groups such as coeliacs and diabetics and for people who cannot digest raw fruit. It has a shelflife of eight weeks. Professor Joe Carey and his team in UCC are currently testing the nutritional and potential health benefits of the compotes.
Clotilde is now fast approaching the stage where capacity in her kitchen cannot meet demand. “We are not producing enough to deliver an income. The next big decision will be on commercialising the operation through outsourcing the production,” she said.