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Grape joint venture enables availability of exclusive Peruvian grape varieties in US

Spain’s AMC Group and AMC North America are proud to announce a new joint venture with Peru’s El Pedregal S.A. for its proprietary grape varieties. JV Pedregal-Muñoz Farming S.A.C will begin operations in 2016 with the first plantings from its Sheehan/SNFL exclusive stock in Ica, Peru.
 
The relationship is not new -- El Pedregal, the Peruvian grape export leader, has been a long-term investor in AMC Group’s breeding program – but the joint venture marks an unprecedented partnership between grower and breeder. 



Founded in 1931 as a small family business growing and packing lemons in Murcia, Spain for the European market, AMC today is a fully integrated group of companies (still in family ownership) and a world leader in fruit, flowers and juice. 
 
An essential and growing part of that business is the highly specialized Special New Fruit Licensing (SNFL) Group, which is involved in the breeding, development and licensing of new varieties of table grapes, citrus and pomegranates. “There was a time when consumers thought an orange was just an orange and a grape was just a grape,” said AMC Group CEO Alvaro Muñoz. “But global production and distribution combined with better breeding programs have raised consumer awareness over time and ‘good’ isn’t good enough. Consumers today are constantly chasing the next big flavor and health sensation and that’s where we knew we could make inroads and gain traction with stellar varieties of our own and a vibrant research program that’s always in pursuit of the next big thing.” 
 
In the 1980s AMC realized that government and institutional funding for fruit breeding programs was rapidly disappearing and that the future of new and improved varietal development was migrating to the 
AMC teamed up with renowned California grape breeder Tim Sheehan, funding his existing program in the San Joaquin Valley.
 
The main objectives of the Sheehan program were (and still are) to excite increasingly discerning consumers with excellent eating table grapes -- seedless, full of flavor, crisp and juicy – while providing AMC and its network of growers worldwide with varieties that are more productive and require less labor and lower overall inputs. Of course, these new varieties must be available in red, green and black, combined with early, mid- and late-season harvest times. No small task.
 
The current catalogue of some 20 varieties includes successful products like the mid-season, seedless Magenta™ with an electric pink color and refreshing cherry overtones, and the early season green Ivory™, crisp, juicy and deliciously sweet. To stay ahead of demand and evolving consumer tastes, SNFL has another 100 or so Sheehan selections in the developmental pipeline, many of which will be introduced as new commercial varieties in the coming months.

At the heart of those efforts is a new, state-of-the-art laboratory and field testing facility in Spain, The Grape Genesis. And while Sheehan passed away in 2009, father and son team Juan and Ivan Carreño continue his work as breeder and molecular biologist respectively.
 
The Magenta is the first variety to arrive from Peru this season, available now. The Timpson™ will be in the U.S. after Christmas. To help market the new arrivals, AMC North America has forged revolutionary partnerships with U.S. retailers. 


 
“We want consumers to come back to retailers and specifically ask for Magenta by name, that’s the goal for all our varieties,” said Muñoz. “If you improve the product, you increase overall consumption, delight the consumer and retailer alike and can change the way Americans eat grapes – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Contact:
Casey Ison
Tel: (+1) 856-241-7977

Publication date:



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