Behind the peel…


If you say ‘Papillon’ most people immediately think of ‘the oranges in the paper wrapper’.

Almost everyone knows the attractive transparent tissue wrapping paper with its brightly coloured butterfly. The paper wrapper alone brings back happy childhood memories for lots of us.


We’d like to take you behind the scenes to share the story of the butterfly with you.

Blauwe pijl beneden links

The butterfly’s journey

Every butterfly was a caterpillar once.

At Papillon, we’re proud of our origins. It’s the seed from which our product has grown into what it is today: a quality label for fruit. Read the history of our butterfly to find out more.


Our story begins with Ripoll & Cia, a fruit export company with a long family tradition founded at the end of the 19th century. Right from the start, we set the bar high: we aimed to grow the very best citrus fruits. That took time and patience, because it takes at least four years before you can start picking fruit from an orange tree, but fortunately the first harvest was an immediate success.

Rups lijn

The butterfly’s journey


Year after year, the warmth of the Spanish sun, combined with the passion and dedication of the Ripoll family, delivered the best oranges. Over the years, our knowledge of the fruit was matched by the latest technology and logistics. Now, four generations later, we are still committed to bringing you the best product and flawless service.


The butterfly’s journey


Expansion into a quality fruit label started with our collaboration with the Van Lier family. Van Lier has been active as a distributor of quality fruit since the 1960s. Over the years, they have amassed all the knowledge necessary to deliver a premium product to true lovers of fine fruit. In Ripoll & Cia they found a citrus fruit supplier to meet their high quality requirements.

Ontpoping lijn

The butterfly’s journey


Working together for so many years developed a close bond between the families. Van Lier wanted to bring more quality fruit to the Belgian market and the collaboration with the Ripoll family was extended. So Papillon became more than just a brand of premium oranges: it became a quality label for delicious fruit, selected and approved by both families, from all over the world. 

Groep vrouwen
Vlinder lijn

Our butterflies

Each type of fruit has its own origins and needs a different approach, but to achieve quality there is one common denominator: the passion with which it is grown and handled.

You can taste that passion in the fruit itself, and it must be clear throughout the chain. It is embodied in a team of people who all play their part and are all equally important.

Gekleurde vlinder



Up to 500 oranges grow on a single tree.


Paul is up early every morning to cut the best oranges from the tree with his team.

It takes 15 months for an orange to ripen. When the fruits are perfectly ripe, they are harvested. The name “pickers” is misleading, as scissors are always used to remove the fruit from the trees.


We reject any white or damaged oranges

Vero, quality controller – Spain

Only the very best fruit is worthy of the Papillon label.

A long and complex process with multiple monitoring and selection points separates the wheat from the chaff. For this, we use an efficient mix of modern, technological methods and traditional, manual quality controls.


We check up right to the lorry.

Ramón, warehouse foreman – Spain

The oranges that make it through the rigorous selection process are not just dispatched.

They are sorted according to size and put into different packaging. All the packaging is then labelled with the origin, size and other details of both the grower and our own plant. That way, we can always trace our oranges. After all these steps, it is time to pack up our little darlings securely and send them off on their perfectly chilled transport, straight to the supermarket or shop.


Ready before dawn

Eddy, head of transport at Van Lier, Belgium

Every day, full trucks are on hand to supply all the supermarkets, convenience stores and market stalls.

You can find our delicious fruit in more than 1,850 supermarket branches, over 1,000 convenience stores and hundreds of market stalls all over Belgium and Luxembourg. That means that our premium fruit is waiting for you to enjoy in about three-quarters of supermarket branches and 9 out of 10 convenience stores.

The butterfly effect…

The Ripoll family and Van Lier share the same values and are proud of them.

Our constant support for local fruit farmers means that they grow their fruit with passion. A passion that you can still taste thousands of kilometres and many weeks later. That’s the butterfly effect!

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