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Tad Brusseau on Sutherland’s grape export program
“We put our energy into making a taste profile for each customer”
California’s San Joaquin Valley is an important supplier of grapes in the domestic market as well as the export market. Despite the hot summer that registered 75 days over 100 degrees, the export program is in full swing. “Fortunately, some varieties are very resistant to heat and we happen to be shipping significant amounts of those varieties,” says Tad Brusseau with Sutherland S.A.
Old walls are coming down
Sutherland’s grape program focuses on exports to Asia with customers in China, Korea, Japan, India and the Middle East. Customers like the traditional core seedless varieties as well as newer varieties such as Holiday, Pristine, Allison, Sweet Sapphire and Timpson. “The old walls are coming down as far as certain varieties being shipped to specific destinations,” shared Brusseau. “Until this year, we shipped most of our green seedless grapes to Korea and red seedless made its way into China. However, this season we have shipped most of our green seedless to China so far.”
Brusseau explains that determining factors are the end-user and its taste profile. “Markets that were once resistant to certain colors or shapes are receiving reactive demand from their customers due to significant taste,” he said. “We put our energy into making a taste profile for each customer. If you want a smooth deep Muscat aftertaste- we have that for you, if you want very sweet low acid- we have that as well.”
Sweet Sapphire grape variety
Brusseau mentioned that it can be a challenge in California to grow an export crop due to government restrictions as well as the state’s climate. “Some of our partner growers are pioneers in exporting grapes and their experience helps us in minimizing potential negatives.”
Brusseau recently joined Sutherland S.A. “With his 20+ years of grape experience, Tad has been a great addition to our family,” said CEO Clive Sutherland. “Our clients have been very enthusiastic about our expansion into the California grape export deal and it allows us to offer year-round one-stop shopping. Tad performs field inspections, chooses the best lots, and oversees packing. Handling all logistics takes away headaches on the customer’s end and ensures better arrivals.” After more than 20 years of exporting cherries globally, Sutherland S.A. applies its experience to all other fruit varieties it handles.
For more information:
Tel: (+1) 559-999-2237
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