The BLOOM FRESH executive team has released predictions for 2024's table grapes and cherries.
#1: Low-chill cherries get a boost: Alwyn van Jaarsveld, international commercial cherry manager says climate issues have challenged cherry growers and recent seasons in California and Chile have been difficult due to adverse conditions.
L-R: Alwyn van Jaarsveld, Cheery Crunch cherries
The climate changes around the world were a large main reason why eight years ago, BLOOM FRESH™ created its low-chill cherry program, Cheery Cherries™. It allows growers to harvest cherries with fewer "chill hour" requirements.
Areas with unpredictable water levels can use low-chill cherries to replace more water-reliant crops.
#2: Supply chain issues to ease: Kenneth Avery, CEO and international commercial manager notes that in 2024, pressure on the global supply and transport chains that impacted the 2023 table grape sector is predicted to ease with input prices and shipping decreasing.
Peru will continue to lead global table grape exports, expanding supply windows and focusing on high-quality green seedless grapes, including BLOOM’s Sweet Globe™, Timpson™, and Ivory™ varieties destined for North America.
L-R: Kenneth Avery, more Cheery Crunch
Chile's exports are anticipated to improve. Despite years of challenging weather conditions coupled with economic pressures from escalating labor and material costs, growers in the region express cautious optimism.
Sweet Celebration™ looks promising in South Africa as Sweet Sapphire™ and Sweet Globe™ grape varieties are in Australia.
#3: New table grape varieties in 2024: Jennifer Maguire, director of global licensing says BLOOM has new, exciting varietals in development, including grapes with antioxidant levels surpassing blueberries.
While table grapes are moving forward with greatly improved varietals, the sector has not been without challenges. Severe, erratic weather events around the world have impacted California and Peruvian volumes. That said, table grape market conditions are strong and greatly improved.
L-R: Jennifer Maguire; Sweet Sapphire
Average grape prices are up due to reduced and limited supplies. Price sensitivity concerns producers and retailers, so the industry is working hard to ensure the consumer has a great eating experience. BLOOM has licensed producers in 20 countries to fulfill year-round demand and supports its varietals with quality assurance and technical teams who work with its producers.
#4 – Extreme weather will continue challenging table grape growers: Dr. Chris Owens, breeder, says intense rains from Australia to the United States and South Africa to Europe have negatively impacted table grape production along with the decreasing availability of chemical crop protection. As the climate continues creating challenges, more emphasis on genetic improvements will be necessary with advanced selections exhibiting powdery mildew and downy mildew disease resistance.
L-R: Chris Owens, Sugar Crisp
BLOOM is proactively approaching safeguarding growers’ crops. Innovative technologies in breeding/growing are helping offset some challenges.
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