Last week, week 44, saw the first harvest of the seedless grapes at the Solar Grapes farm in Aussenkehr, Namibia. This farm's name is derived from the solar panels that provide its energy requirements. From the start, Solar has been a forerunner in the valley when it comes to sustainability.
"The total planted area on the farm is 250 ha. That includes many new good tasting ARRA varieties. In the coming season, the expected production is 600,000 boxes. It will be marketed exclusively by Hillfresh. That makes us an integral part of the supply chain. We're very proud of our partnership with Solar Grapes," says Jan Willem Lagendijk.
The first volumes harvested are of the Early Sweet variety. The Prime Seedless variety, and then others, will follow this. The first red varieties should be harvested this week, week 45. "The season's starting a little late. But Solar Grapes is, as always, a full week ahead of the rest of the valley. That allows us to connect early to arrivals from Brazil and Peru. The first batches' Brix levels and sizes are already at the desired levels. And we're expecting nice volumes to arrive from week 48. That gives us ample opportunity to plan promotions around Christmas," concludes Jan-Willem.