Geoff Green of Capespan International about year-round program:

“Europe is the world's largest grape market”

Fernando Iacobelli, Geoff Green and Sergio Correa the El Maitenal Chile

These days, you can buy grapes throughout the year. Foreign import plays an important role in making this possible. Over the years traditional grape-producing countries have been supplemented by new ones to ensure a year-round supply. Capespan is international market leader in the supply of fresh fruit year-round. The company, with offices throughout the world, has had some impressive results, particularly in the table grape sector. Geoff Green and Ben Taieb from Capespan International have been working on exactly that: a year-round supply of grapes.

Capespan Continent (EU) and Capespan UK have developed a large and extensive grape program, supplying the whole of Europe. Geoff Green, who recently stepped in as International Procurement Director for Capespan, says: "Capespan has been supplying people with grapes for over 10 years, and the volumes are still increasing. In all countries of origin local producers are guided by specialists from Capespan. Most growers know how to cultivate, but in the post-harvest, which includes cooling and packaging, support is sometimes necessary. So in order to smooth over the process we organize trainings to improve knowledge and skills."

Main supplier is Chile, Capespan being the country’s largest buyer. Up-and-coming suppliers are Peru and India, countries in the process of developing themselves, and from which much is expected for the future. As Geoff explains, during the program the various supplying countries consciously overlap to ensure nobody runs out of grapes. "It still remains a natural product and we depend on supply and demand.”

Grape-producing countries taking part in the Capespan program include: Namibia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, India, Egypt, Brazil, Peru and Europe itself. The European grape season begins with grapes from Spain, Italy and Greece. The Namibian season lasts from November up to January, and is considered the pre-season of South Africa. The calendar proper begins with the South African crops and ends with imported goods from Peru.

In addition to this tight schedule, Capespan still finds time to cater to upcoming trends, like the advance of pre-packaged grapes. Convenience plays an important role here, according to Geoff.

Another addition to the program is the attention to food safety. “New EU rules obviously affect the schedule and the countries we work with,” says Geoff Green. “They may also yield some exciting new markets. We expect our role, as an export partner for new destinations, to only increase."

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber