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Grape grower-marketer techs up in California to bring innovation to the forefront

Providing year-round grape supplies through all major producing regions, Oppy, grower, marketer and distributor of fresh produce from around the world is distinguishing itself in California through its advances.

Left: Garland Perkins; right: Hazel Technologies' sachet. 

“We are precise and strategic in the opportunities we take on,” said Garland Perkins, senior manager of insights and innovation. “They won’t all be successes, that’s just the nature of innovation. Which is why we are intentional in what we pursue, only investing in solutions that have a likelihood of high ROI with a keen focus on improving products, creating efficiencies and mitigating issues.”

Forecasting yields and enhancing storage life
All of which have been making headway in Oppy’s California grape vineyards with three of its latest innovation partners. Most recently, ongoing trials with Bloomfield Robotics forecast and manage yield through its deep learning AI and ground-based image capture that detects and measures phenotypes automatically. Previous trials with Vinergy showed signs of decreased labor costs by utilizing their harvest cart that enables a higher capacity and more secure trek — an upcoming trial in fall 2021 will test their latest technology, an autonomous version of the original cart. Along with Hazel Technologies, this will help enable greener and more turgid stems, with less presence of shriveled grapes and maintained enhanced storage life under transit and warehouse conditions through its Hazel 100™ grape sachets that release active, shelf-life enhancing vapors.

Trials with Bloomfield Robotics (above) forecast and manage yield through its learning AI and ground-based image capture that detects and measures phenotypes automatically.

Those advances in yield forecasting, labor efficiency and shelf-life extension only add to the consistency of supply in the Ocean Spray® label, Oppy’s primary grape brand, said Marc Serpa, director of domestic grapes and sales manager. “Having shipped our first pack of grapes in the Ocean Spray brand just last year to announcing our 12-month program at the beginning of 2021 really shows how Oppy is adding value to the category.”

Left: Marc Serpa; right: images from Bloomfield Robotics technology.

“It is a very progressive category,” said Serpa. “We’re always looking for opportunities to ensure that our grapes have distinct characteristics like enhanced flavor, consistency, ease of production and shelf life for our retailers. That’s why pursuing these solutions, working with all major varietal development pioneers and having year-round availability is essential to growing into the next stage of our business.”

Oppy grapes are available year-round from Peru, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and California.

For more information:
Kelsey Van Lissum
Tel: +1 (604) 461-6779 

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