Photo: Maylen grape harvest – Seasonz
Grape exports to the EU from India have dropped nearly 18% this season, reports Financial Express. Exports to the EU totalled 74.9 million tons in 2020-21 (December-April). Vilas Shinde, chairman of the Sahayadri Farmers Producer Company, said the harvest was delayed by 15-20 days as unseasonal rains delayed pruning of vineyards. Normally by September, around 25% of the pruning is completed and another 20% is completed by October 15.
“Now a glut-like situation is happening because the harvesting is in full swing resulting in high arrivals simultaneously from most vineyards. This is posing as a major challenge to growers, exporters and even buyers in Europe because of the lack of storage facilities,” Shinde said.
Jagannath Khapre, president of the All India Grape Exporters Association, said that while the season has been slow, exports should pick up momentum in the next few weeks. Of the 74.9 million tons of grapes exported so far this season, 49.9 million tons have been exported to the Netherlands, 12.3 million tons to the UK, and 6.9 million tons to Germany.
Photo: Azhar Tambuwala, Director of Seazons
Seazons International is a confluence of experience and expertise, along with ethics and professionalism, thanks to dedicating over two decades of passion to agribusiness, including conventional, organic and processed fruits and vegetables.
For this campaign, the company intends to export approximately 15,000 tons of grapes (mainly Thompson). The firm’s first production of Arra 15 (Sweeties) saw around 500 tons exported with good arrival results, while its first production of the Maylen variety yielded 40 tons and is being shipped now, with the company eagerly awaiting its arrival.
The major markets for Seazons International are the EU, the Middle East, the Far East, Russia and Canada. Packing needs and specifications differ from market to market, as well as within the same market, since every customer has unique needs.
Seazons’ strategy for this year is to ensure better quality standards and less speculation. The firm’s director Azhar Tambuwala said: “We have been working with new varieties for many years now and the fruit of our work is finally paying off now with the first harvests of Sweeties and Maylen. We are also working with other Grapa and SNFL varieties, which are currently in quarantine and will be planted later this year.”
This is an exciting time for the Indian grape industry, as if the varieties are successful, this will change the landscape of the table grape industry in the country.
Photos: IG International
This year, IG International Pvt Ltd, one of India’s largest importers of fresh fruit, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. “Over the past 50 years, we have built a global sourcing infrastructure made up of strong associations and partnerships with the world’s top fruit growers. We have the largest distribution and wholesale network of imported fresh fruits in India. We have our own cold storage in different cities and a fleet of reefer trucks for efficient handling and transportation of fresh fruits in temperature-controlled environments,” said the firm’s director Tarun Arora. IG International is a group of 14 companies operating in diverse sectors. Besides imports, IGIPL’s portfolio includes temperature-controlled warehousing and third-party logistics, with facilities in Amravati, Theog, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. “We have a fleet of around 100 reefer trucks and trailers; with each trailer comprising 40 reefer containers. They move around 40,000 tons of fresh fruit annually around India,” said Arora.
IG International Pvt Ltd has managed to become a leader in the fresh produce industry thanks to its strong cold chain infrastructure for the past two decades. “IGIPL has by far the largest cold chain network in India and has been continuously investing in upgrading and bringing best cold chain technologies to the country. It is vital to have a strong cold chain when it comes to perishables,” said Arora. As for the future, IG is at the forefront of digital ecosystems, backwardly integrated for last-mile online order fulfilment and delivery in cities and tier-2 and tier-3 towns across India. The firm’s strategy is to expand its reach to customers across India through this “phygital” route. IG is working on expanding its physical network in order to serve a larger number of wholesalers and retailers in tier-2 towns through its wholesale outlets. The company’s underlying strategy is to promote the imported fruits category across all consumer segments.
India is reportedly on the brink of exhausting all of its cold storage space for potatoes. Due to low prices across the country, India’s growers are opting to place their potatoes in cold storage as they wait for the market to rebalance.
Ashish Guru, senior vice-president of the Federation of Cold Storage Association of India, said, “Arrivals have flooded markets in various parts of the country such as Gujarat, Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Most of the arrivals have been diverted to the cold storages.”
These Indian farmers formed the Hill State Horticulture Forum. © Greater Kashmir
Apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have grouped together to fight the alleged smuggling of Iranian apple into Indian markets. These farmers have formed the Hill State Horticulture Forum to raise their concerns. The president of the Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers Growers Association of Himachal Pradesh, Harish Chauhan, alleges that Iranian apples are being brought into India through Afghanistan without paying the required import duties. “We have decided to come on a platform to fight this threat. Along with the apple growers, small CA store owners, arhtiyas and other stakeholders in the apple business, too, will be roped in. We will raise the matter with the Central Government as well as our state governments,” said Chauhan.
Photo: Gurukrupa Corporation, India
On February 8, 2021, the Indian government’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) clarified that the implementation of the requirement for a Genetically Modified-Free Certificate for imported food products will apply to all consignments with a bill of lading dated March 1, 2021, and or after. The clarification further informs stakeholders about the permissible tolerance limit for the adventitious presence of genetically modified organisms (i.e., genetically engineered) at one percent. Earlier in its order of August 21, 2020, the FSSAI listed 24 food crops that are subject to this requirement:
3) Argentina Canola
7) Egg Plant
8) Flax Seed
14) Polish canola
20) Sugar beet
22) Sweet pepper
Fresh Produce India is enhancing its digital format in 2021. New networking tools mean visitors can load their own profile to connect and interact with all attendees via live video and private chat messaging before, during, and after the event. The event takes place on 22 April 2021. A top-quality programme of live interviews, discussions, and presentations will bring visitors the best insight on the biggest trends in India’s fast- growing fresh fruit and vegetable business.
This includes information on fresh opportunities for imported fruits, along with a look at how online channels are providing new and exciting consumer-direct options for promoting products and brands in India. The programme also examines new investments in India’s own fresh fruit and vegetable production and supply chain technologies. All sessions will be fully interactive and speakers will be on-hand to answer questions during and after their sessions.
The unseasonal rains that hit India last week have left the country’s grape farmers facing severe losses. The damage could reduce exports to the EU and UK by as much as 25% over the coming weeks between Weeks 12 and Week 16.
The unseasonal rains are considered serious cause for concern as they are viewed as a result of global climate change. This has led to a rising clamour in the sector to shift towards more sustainable methods of living and working that safeguard the environment.
Photo: Eurofresh Distribution
India’s 2020/21 pear crop is estimated to contract to 305,000 tons, due to adverse weather conditions during the flowering stage, according to USDA data. Pear imports for 2020/21 are forecast to rise by 29% to 22,500 tons due to steady consumption growth and lower domestic production. Since the Chinese pear import ban in June 2017, South Africa has remained the top pear exporter to India, with 72% market share in 2019/20, followed by the US (13%), and Spain (5%). South African Packham pears are at a competitive advantage as they can be stored longer than other imported varieties, thereby extending their availability.
Photo: News 18
The famed saffron variety of mangoes of India’s Gujarat State is being affected by an unknown disease that is causing mangoes to fall from trees in several orchards. Hopes were high for a good crop after orchards entered into full bloom this season, despite unseasonal rains. That was until crops were infected with a white fungus in Gir and surrounding areas. According to one horticulture official, spraying can eradicate the white fungus but it was not enough to save much of this year’s crop.
One farmer named Jesingbhai Chauhan told News18: “We have been preserving the saffron orchard for years. In the last 15 to 20 years, this year has been the worst. The saffron husk does not rest on the tree for a longer time and falls down very easily. The situation is serious as the production of raw mangoes is declining.”
Another farmer said, “Due to the disease, around 50 per cent of the crop has gone. The conditions of farmers is bad. Mangos are being infected with four or five diseases simultaneously.”
Chemicals are also being used, but no satisfactory results yet been achieve and the prices of mangoes are certain to rise.