In case you haven’t already read it, we reviewed what will be remembered as a historic season in Peru (see here), one we hadn’t seen before and universally can agree we hope to not experience the likes of again.
What makes Vanguard International the industry leader, is adapting, learning and creating systems and processes to ensure quality produce worldwide. Here are a few of the key changes already underway to plan for a successful 2021/2022 season.
To ensure labor continuity the packinghouse lines are being reviewed and reconfigured. Instead of four to five bags per grape varietal we will transition to one. As we don’t know what the new post COVID “normal” will be we need to lean heavily toward new efficiencies. This will reduce errors, create operational efficiencies and reduce risk on product shipment delays for this and future seasons.
We are expanding our Peru facilities both in the packing house and the pre-cool and cold storage rooms to provide additional space and distancing practices. This also includes an expansion to the kitchen and lunch room facilitates. We will continue to plan for multiple points of entry to the facilities, which requires additional staff to properly function with Covid protocols. These are changes we are committed to in order to assure improved facilities processes and assurance of personnel safety.
With operational changes we are not looking at a staffing reduction, but at a more satisfied labour force. The previous season required training and re-training in a manner that did not allow us to set the team up for success, and we know that can demoralize teams. Our labour plans for the upcoming season will insure a more consistent workforce. We are confident our teams will be invigorated and in control and most importantly that the teams know they have been listened to and are supported.
Vanguard is poised to be in a strong position regarding the percentage of varieties by colour. We know the market is seeing an increased demand for green grapes and we are growing to represent and fill that need. Our proprietary premium grape mix going into the 2022 season will be 60% green varietals, 30% red varietals, and 10% black varietals. We are continuing to review new varieties to ensure we continue to provide the best to the world.
“We learned a lot coming out of the previous season. The confluence of external events along with the COVID pandemic have led us to making positive and defensive changes not just for the upcoming season but for the years ahead. These are changes that will be critical for the company and ensure our ongoing commitment to provide the best quality produce worldwide,” shared Vanguard Chief Business Development Officer Dirk Winkelmann.