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North American grower-shipper comments on exports from Peru

New grape varieties in high demand in Asia

In the week of February 20th, Vanguard International completed its second grape harvest in Peru. “100 percent of our crop is picked, packed and on its way to market,” says Craig Stauffer, CEO of Vanguard International. “Overall, we are pleased with the results on quality, yield and condition,” Stauffer mentioned. For some of the company’s brand-new varieties, this is the first season so there is still some analytical work to do with agronomists and plant breeders.

Concentrated harvest season
The initial harvest started a bit slower than planned due to the La Nina weather effect that included cooler temperatures during both daytime and nighttime. “However, as we progressed to late January and early February, we saw those temperatures go up which increased fruit development and necessitated a much speedier harvest,” Stauffer shared. “The result of the slower start and the earlier finish was a more concentrated harvest and shipping season, but we were prepared, and it went well.”

Success with Sweet Sapphire and Red Globe 
Much of the fruit has headed to North America, to both West and East Coasts of the US and Canada. “We also had nice programs into Asia. We did some ‘pre-harvest’ tests in the orchard to fine tune some of the quality characteristics for the different global markets,” Dirk Winkelmann Chief Business Development Officer said. Vanguard is especially satisfied with the reception into the Asian markets of its new varieties. “We were more aggressive in shipping the Sweet Sapphire late in the season and with tremendous success. We also see great potential in the traditional Red Globe markets if we send the right fruit and support our customers in exciting and educating their consumers.” Vanguard aims to be smart about building awareness and demand for these new varieties. 

Vanguard markets its fruit under the newly developed Vanguard Fresh brand, in addition to the previously known labels – Pampa Fresh and Silver Horse. 

Cherries take away from grapes
Although demand for table grapes is solid and the fruit is moving at an acceptable pace and price, the market is impacted by foreign circumstances with late quota for importer/quota holders in Indonesia having a domino effect. In addition, there is the share of stomach reality of a record crop of cherries grown, packed and shipped from Chile. “We’ve noticed a shift in consumption from grapes to cherries now that cherries are abundant, flavorful and value priced,” Winkelmann said. 

For more information:
Craig Stauffer / Dirk Winkelmann 
The Vanguard International Group
Tel: (+1) 425-427-6113

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