San Miguel exports table grapes to the US for the first time

San Miguel, a grower and exporter of citrus fruits from the southern hemisphere, is starting to export premium grapes from its properties in Peru.

San Miguel's recent acquisition of the Peruvian Company Agricola Hoja Redonda has enabled it to produce avocados, modern varieties of table grapes, and mandarins, thus complementing its usual citrus portfolio.

Jack's Salute table grapes are grown on the farms of Chepen (Peru).

The first shipments of grapes to the city of Philadelphia arrived in early January. "About a hundred containers are being distributed among major supermarket chains in the United States, with an excellent acceptance by all customers," said Agustina Fabbio, San Miguel's new business development manager.

The premium grape varieties sold and exported to the USA, which are patented by the prestigious International Fruit Genetics (IFG) company, are the Jack's Salute®, a seedless purple, turgid variety that has a sweet taste; and the Sweet Globe®, a variety that is well known for its large elongated green colored cluster, slightly oval shape, crunchiness and firmness.

The packaging of the San Miguel grapes in Chepen (Peru).

According to Agustina Fabbio, the grapes are a dynamic crop that require very short working hours and care, that have some critical control points: "The operation is key: harvest times, arrival times, packing, and cooling processes. There can be a maximum of 6 hours from the time a bunch is cut in the field until the grape enters the cold tunnel."

The grape campaign is promising. In total, San Miguel hopes to export 2,000 tons of table grapes this season. After the first shipment to the US, the company sent some containers to Europe and Asia, and a new shipment to the United States is already on course.

"We have patented new varieties that respond to the main features that consumers are currently looking for. They are known as Premium grapes within the world of the seedless grape. They have a high brix level, taste great, and have a good size. Supermarkets generally ask for a minimum size that ranges between 13 and 18 mm; these grapes are more than 20 mm.

San Miguel sends its grapes to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

"Peru's quality as a producer of grapes is an excellent presentation letter to buyers around the world. Peru is a strategic country for the global provision of fresh fruit thanks to its location, climate variety, and the trade agreements it has with the most relevant markets in the world. The incorporation of this new origin has allowed San Miguel to extend its supply window and to take a step towards its goal of maintain relationships throughout the year with our clients, thus securing a steady and strategic link with them." 

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