Posted on

Peru’s booming grape exports

Attractive prices, numerous overseas market opportunities and a major ramp up in production are behind the major boost in  Peru’s grape exports.

Peru’s grape exports have skyrocketed in the past decade, going from practically non-existent in the year 2000 to about 280,000 tons last year, reports the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

In a new report, GAIN says that grapes are now one of Peru’s main agricultural exports, totalling $646 million the 2014, up 43% on the previous year. They were also up 50% in volume to 267,270 tons.

It said this significant change has been driven by attractive prices and numerous overseas market opportunities, and a major boost in production as a result of new areas planted in Peru.

Peru’s main grape markets in 2014 were:

  • US 44,123 tons
  • Netherlands 41,908 tons
  • China 35,391 tons
  • Other important destinations: Hong Kong, Russia, the U.K.

Grape production in Peru

Grape production in Peru was estimated to reach 520,000 tons last year.

The central valleys along the coast (e.g., Ica, Lima) are where Peru’s grape growing is concentrated. However, new areas in the Piura and Lambayeque regions on the northern coast are rapidly developing. While the average grape yield in Peru was 20 tons/ha in 2014, yields in Piura were up to 34 tons/ha.

The country mostly grows Red Globe but other varieties include Crimson seedless, Flame seedless, Sugraone and Thompson seedless.

Climate challenges

Pests are one of the challenges Peru faces as it seeks to significantly increase its grape production. “Countries with colder climates do not struggle with pests such as nematodes, but due to Peru’s mild weather, this pest has become a problem,” the report says. However, in the northern region of Piura, warm temperatures permit up to two harvests per year, which helps offset the negative effects of pests. Also, Peruvian producers are working to develop more resistant varieties.

Another challenge for the industry is the potential impact of the forecasted severe El Niño. “The majority the growing areas are expected to face either flooding or droughts depending on their location. Without proper preventative measures by farmers and the government, the industry may experience losses in productivity which may take time to recuperate.”

Source: GAIN Report, Peru: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual (January 7, 2016)

Posted on

Peru’s fruit and vegetable sector leads its non-traditional exports

Peruvian products have high-quality standards and are conquering new markets.

Peru produces fruit and vegetables of excellent quality throughout the year. With delicious taste, colour and aroma, they are strategically exported in off-season periods to the northern hemisphere.

The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is the most dynamic of the non-traditional export industries. Due to the nature of the market, it generates a whole chain of value in related services, including logistics, cold chain, certifications, and supplies amongst others; creating jobs and infrastructure.

Peruvian products also meet the quality and safety standards required by their customers. Companies are certified with international standards such as ISO, HACCP, TESCO and BRC. They also meet the strict standards of good agricultural practices (GLOBAL.G.A.P.) under the supervision of health authorities in the major markets. These efforts are in addition to the continued improvement of production processes and services by applying cutting-edge technology.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru recently announced the signing of the protocol for Hass avocado access to the Chinese market, which in the short term will mean additional exports of about 11,500-16,100 tons of this product. This would result in further revenues of US $30 million-50 million every year.

In 2014 about 199,000 tons of Hass avocados were exported and the growth rate was 40% per year, so the signing of this protocol represents a great opportunity for farmers.

Peru has become specialised in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables that are exported fresh and processed to niche markets demanding high quality. Hence, the training of human resources in tasks such as sorting and processing is continuously improving. Thanks to these advances, Peru is the world’s leading exporter of asparagus and paprika, and occupies the top spot in other premium products.

Finally, in the case of grapes, a very important market for this fruit has been found in the Chinese market, especially during the Lunar New Year period, currently taking 13% of Peruvian exports.

Posted on

Sun World launches new consumer website

Sun World said online searches related to grapes occur in the hundreds of thousands every month.

Do you know the best way to freeze grapes for a cool, sweet summer treat? Ever tried pan roasted chicken with green grapes?

California’s Sun World International, LLC has unveiled a new web site that provides just such information and inspiration and covers about anything consumers might want to know about table grapes.

Grape recipes, how-to guides and health Information are among the topics covered on the site, which has been optimised for accurate viewing on any device.

Frozen seedless grapes

Included is the answer to what Google Trends shows is one of the most common queries regarding grapes: how many calories in them? The answer is just 90 in a cup-and-a-half serving, the new Sun World site says.

In a press release, the company said online searches related to grapes occur in the hundreds of thousands every month.     

“Like all of our marketing activities, the new Sun World website was designed based on consumer insights to help us better engage, educate and entertain people,” program marketing manager Natalie Erlendson said.

“The website is part of a larger strategy to build Sun World as the trusted brand for grapes which can increase demand and drive consumption for our customers,” executive vice president Gordon  Robertson said.

Sun World said it is a leading innovator in the research, production, distribution and promotion of fresh  produce.

It maintains vertically integrated table grape operations in the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys of California, as well as a licensed growing and marketing program with leading  agricultural operations in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South America, Israel and South Africa.

See the new Sun World site at www.Sun-­  



Posted on

How Australia is tapping fresh produce opportunities in China

"Australia is in quite a nice position to be able to segment the market by focussing on being a niche market player rather than getting caught up against the big volume suppliers."

The importance of suppliers building long term trade relationships with China and adapting to its customers’ tastes was recently stressed by Loren Zhao, co-founder of the country’s rapidly-expanding online fruit retailer, Fruitday.

Speaking as part of the London Produce Show breakfast panel, Zhao singled out Australia and New Zealand as countries doing a good job in this regard. He said that in the future, China “will be consuming most of the global produce” and he said it is looking to these suppliers, which he said are already focusing on India and China. “It’s very important to grow products with the Chinese customer in mind.”

Screenshot 2015-07-07 at 12.29.53.png

Zhao said the US and Australia are spending a lot of money in order to change their fruit varieties and grow newer ones in response to demand from Chinese customers. “We see that they also want to invest for the market for us.”

“A lot of exporters just want to trade and they want to sell everything to China but other exporters want to cooperate…like Zespri and Sunkist,” he added.

Promising export future: Australian table grapes and citrus

Speaking to ED at the London show, PMA Australia-New Zealand CEO Michael Worthington said table grapes are a good example of where Australian growers are adapting to Chinese tastes.

“Australia is producing a lot of very good quality red and black grapes which the Chinese love. Crimson seedless has been a very successful variety, because it’s obviously seedless but it also has good Brix. There are some black grapes coming on to the market that have got a very high brix, so very much going for sweetness, which suits the Chinese palate,” he said

The Chinese very much buy on colour and a sweet taste, so I think Australia is in quite a nice position to be able to segment the market by focussing on being a niche market player rather than getting caught up against the big volume suppliers such as Chile” he said.

“On the citrus side, the Australian navel quality is very good – probably the best in the market – and well-recognised in China, and some of the mandarins that Australia is now producing also fit in very well with Chinese consumers because of their good colour and flavour.”

Screenshot 2015-07-07 at 12.28.29.png

“Another real positive is that grapes and citrus fit very well with online sales – you can make nice convenience packs of table grapes. And with online sales booming in China, this is a great area for a niche marketer such as Australia to supply.”

Aussie Cherries also popular in China

Tasmanian cherries provide another example of Australian fresh produce fitting very well with Chinese tastes, Worthington said. “Tasmanian cherries tend to be larger size, very high quality and coming from grower-marketers of a small enough scale that they can go very niche as opposed to being a mass supplier that’s always trying to shift big volumes.”

Hopes FTA will see new protocols expedited

Worthington said it’s hoped the recently signed free trade agreement between China and Australia will speed up quarantine protocols allowing more fruit varieties to be traded between the countries.

“There’s a number in the pipeline both ways, such as stonefruit from mainland Australia and I am confident that as direct trade builds up (as opposed to the traditional “grey channel” supply into China via Hong Kong), we will see more vegetable lines, such as broccoli and carrots, and products such as mangoes and avocadoes exported out of Australia.”

Efficient distribution: key to success in e-retail

On online sales, he said China is doing very well in its ability to get the produce to consumers. “I think in a lot of other countries, particularly western ones, that last mile of logistics is the biggest challenge to growing online sales, whereas in China they’ve got these multiple small distributors on motorbikes and bikes and everything else that can get the product to the consumer.

“It’s a mixture of finding the right product, that is of a high enough value, matched with a distribution system that’s very much more efficient, as opposed to trying to look at it just purely as a price point and keeping the cost of an online sale at or below what you’d pay if buying in a supermarket,” he said.


Relief map of Australia by Hans Braxmeier ( [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted on

Study backs protective role of grapes against stress

GRAPES white table

Feeding animals a diet enriched with whole grape powder prior to stress exposure successfully countered the detrimental effects of that stress on brain function and behavior, according to a press release from the California Table Grape Commission.

Conducted at the University of Houston and recently published in the Journal of Nutrition Research, the study investigated the protective role of grapes against stress, and the mechanisms by which grapes achieved this, the commission said.

Specifically, it was found that grape intake prevented the memory impairment and anxiety-like behaviors that were observed in the rats with stress but no grapes in their diet. The researchers attributed these benefits to both gene activation and enhanced antioxidant activity resulting from grape intake, the commission said. 

For the animals on the grape-enriched diets, freeze-dried, whole grape powder was added to the drinking water for 3 weeks, followed by either the stress or control exposure, and then behavior tests.

“Grapes appear to influence several processes that support brain health,” said Samina Salim, Ph.D., the lead investigator. “The potential interplay between grapes’ antioxidant activity and their impact on cell communication is very intriguing to us and we intend to study it further.”


Posted on

ASDA braces for hard year


UK supermarket chain cuts prices and also aims to cut waste with promotion of ‘wonky’ fruit

At the start of what it says will be the “toughest year yet” in UK retailing, Asda announced its biggest ever investment in price cuts and a campaign to reduce waste of ‘wonky’ fruit. The Walmart–owned UK supermarket chain is spending more than £300m (€391.6m) to lower 2,500 prices for fruit, vegetables and other basket essentials.

Among the changes: 750g of Russet apples cut £0.25 to £1, cucumber halves down £0.05p to £0.30, £0.77 off banana 10-packs to £1.35, and bell peppers cut from £0.77 to £0.57 each.

Asda said the price ‘rollback’ is part of its five-year strategy to invest £1bn in lowering prices and £250m in quality to cement its role in “redefining value retailing.”


‘Beautiful On The Inside’ promotion of ‘ugly’ fruit

Also in January, Asda launched a campaign in five of its stores to sell ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables at a discounted price.It said this would help reduce food waste, support farmers and offer better value for money.

Crooked carrots, knobbly pears and wonky spuds will be labelled ‘Beautiful On The Inside’, bagged separately and sold at a reduced rate.

Asda produce technical director Ian Harrison said the campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives to show Asda’s commitment to helping reduce waste throughout its supply chain.

How Asda locked in low prices for seedless table grapes

Another example of supply chain improvements is Asda’s achievement last year of a 52-weeks a year seedless table grape supply.

Alberto Goldbacher from ASDA buyer International Procurement and Logistics Ltd (IPL), said this means much more than grapes on ASDA shelves year-round. Based in West Yorkshire, IPL’s grapes and stone fruit category manager said it had allowed the retailer to lock in low prices, too.

While other retail chains at times offer heavily discounted grapes, Asda is committed to stable, affordable prices through most of the year, “and that is what the consumer prefers.” Customers essentially want “simple prices” – low prices that are fixed, he said.

Consistent low prices spur sales growth

At the time of his presentation at ‘Grape Attraction’ last October in Madrid, Goldbacher said Asda had been selling 500g of seedless table grapes for £1.50 (€1.90) for 17 months. This followed 4-5 years when the price was around £2.

Other retailers would like to follow, but in terms of supply chain optimisation “we’re 16 months ahead of them.” They can offer grapes at that price for 1–2 weeks, but not consistently, he said.


This is an abbreviation of an article which appeared on page 34 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read it for free here.



Posted on

Patents sought for new IFG grapevine varieties

Screenshot 2014-12-03 at 17

Three new grapevine varieties are the subject of patent applications by International Fruit Genetics (IFG) CEO David Cain.

Based in Bakersfield, California, IFG has known exponential growth since the introduction of its first commercial table grape variety – still its main variety – the crispy red seedless Sweet Celebration. Today it has more than 20 registered varieties and its grapevines are grown in 11 different countries.


According to applications recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, IFG has applied for patents for three new black grape varieties:


Grapevine ‘IFG Fifteen’ is described as producing medium size, oval, completely black berries having medium firm texture and which ripen in early mid–season. While most similar to the Summer Royal variety, it differs by ripening about 1–2 weeks later, having a mild muscat flavour, smaller berries and a stronger stem, the application for this variety says.


Grapevine ‘IFG Sixteenproduces naturally large, ovate to slightly elongated ovate, black seedless berries which are medium firm in texture and ripen late in the growing season. Its fruits normally ripen mid to late September near Delano, California.

While most similar to its parent the Autumn Royal variety, its differences are said to include having a broader cluster shape, a much smaller residual seed trace, slightly softer flesh, no tendency to develop an astringent flavour, higher yields, better tolerance of rain during the ripening season, and more flexible and less brittle canes, thus reducing damage during pruning and other operations.


Grapevine ‘IFG Seventeenproduces naturally large, narrow elliptic, black seedless berries which are firm in texture and ripen late in the growing season.

Most similar to its parent the Autumn Royal variety, this new variety also differs by having a much smaller residual seed trace, no tendency to develop an astringent flavour and by its higher, more consistent yields.

It is also said to have better tolerance of rain during the ripening season, more flexible and less brittle canes, and berries that are smaller than the Autumn Royal variety but colour more easily.


Since 2001, IFG  has grown more than 75,000 grape seedlings. Every variety is tested for 3–7 years before release.

On its website, IFG says it is designing new varieties to fit the “niches” in the table grape industry, referring to coming ones as: “Exotic black grapes with Muscat flavors; crisp white grapes that burst like sweet liquid sunshine in your mouth; highly productive seedless grapes that are easier and less labor-intensive to produce.”





Posted on

Italy faces larger apple crop but decline in pears, table grapes


USDA FORECASTS 2014/15 MARKETING YEAR (in metric tons)


APPLES (marketing year July/June)


Production: up 11% rise to 2.38 million

Exports: down slightly (less than 0.5%) to 870,000

Imports: down slightly (just under 3%) to 41,000


PEARS (marketing year July/June)

Production: down 2.6% to 707,000

Exports: 146,000 (down slightly from 146,601)

Imports: 103,000 (up slightly from 102,209)

(World’s top pear producers: China, US, Italy)


TABLE GRAPES (marketing year June/May)

Production: down 20% to 960,000 on record of 1.2 million in 2013/2014

Exports: 470,300 (down from 500,971)

Imports: 22,320 (up from 20,237)

Withdrawal from market: 9,300

(World’s top table grape exporters: Chile, US, Italy)



The weather has favoured Italy’s 2014/15 apple marketing season but not that of its table grapes and pears, according to new forecasts by the USDA.

The country’s apple crop is expected to increase by 11% but, after a record harvest last season, that of table grapes will drop a fifth, mainly due to adverse conditions during flowering and fruit set.

And heavy rainfall during the fruit setting and maturity phases makes a 2.6% drop likely in the country’s pear supply compared to last season, the USDA said in its report “Italy: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual 2014”.


Apples: potential in North Africa, the Middle East


The fruit size for the apple season is expected to be above average and quality high.

“Remarkable increases” are forecast for Red Delicious (+19.6%), Granny Smith (+19.6%), Fuji (+12.1%), and Golden Delicious (+9.5%).

Last season, Italy’s apple exports to Russia (mostly Granny Smith and Golden) reached 26,318 tons but in light of the Russian ban since imposed, Italy’s apple sector could look to the growing markets of North Africa and Middle East, the USDA said.

Italy grows about a fifth of the EU-28’s apple production, with Trentino-South Tyrol – which delivers 70% of Italian apple production – alone supplying 15% of the European crop.



Pears: decline in acreage

With about 34,241ha, mainly in the northeast, Italy is the EU-28’s largest pear producer but the total of its pear orchard area has been declining in the last decade “due to lack of profitable investment opportunities,” the USDA said.

Emilia-Romagna is the area supplying two thirds of Italy’s total pear crop.

Abate Fetel is the dominant variety, followed by William B.C., Conference, Kaiser, Coscia-Ercollini, Decana, Max Red Bartlett, and Santa Maria. Production decreases are forecast for Kaiser, Decana del Comizio, Santa Maria, and William.

Table grapes: drop in wholesale prices

Aside from the unfavorable weather during flowering and fruit set, cold temperatures in mid-July damaged several plantations “thus affecting the fruit quality which overall is forecast to be good,” the USDA said.

“The production drop, slow consumption, and the Russian ban made wholesale prices drop by 25-30% compared to the last season from 1.30-1.50 €/kg to 0.70-1.20 €/kg.”

Italian table grape production – which ranks sixth globally in volume – is mainly in  Apulia and Sicily, with Italia, Victoria, and Red Globe the varieties accounting for two thirds of the table grape area.

“In the last few years, Italy has gradually moved to seedless grapes cultivation, due to an increasing demand from intra and extra EU markets. Sugraone and Crimson are the most popular seedless varieties followed by Thompson, Centennial, and Sublime,” the USDA said.

Read the report: