Optimism and excitement.
If there was an overarching theme for the upcoming Peru grape season it would be this.
“Our Ivory variety is the first fruit off the line, and they feature great size, great color, and great taste,” shares Fanny Robles, Vanguard Manager – Peru Procurement and Sales “We’ve never seen Ivory grapes that look like this before,” Robles continues. “We are seeing this consistently for all our varieties and our packinghouse teams have a renewed excitement.”
It’s not just the fruit leading the high spirits of the Vanguard Global team as Robles notes. “Compared to last season, we are very prepared right now. The entire global team is more connected than ever from those in the fields, to the packing house, shipping lines, and customers.”
“Quality parameters have been further developed to meet packing needs for each different market.” Robles outlines. “Our more experienced team combined with our strong crop means we can be more competitive in the market this year.”
The Vanguard Peru team was recently visited by two global customers for a pre-season visit, departing with a very positive review and eager fulfilment plans – “We had one customer who wanted the entire Ivory crop!”
By the end of November our red varieties will commence packing along with the remainder of the green varieties, including Sweet Globe™, shortly thereafter, around mid-December we will begin with our black varieties.
The Peru crop will yield approximately 55% green grapes, 40% red grapes, and 5% black this season.
“Our cultural practices at the field level and significantly improved quality are two very positive developments leading to more volume than we forecasted,” shared Dirk Winkelmann, President of Vanguard Direct. “In particular with our green grapes, the average berry weight is a bit more than forecasted and that alone could push the crop up by 10%. Equally important our pack outs are quite a few points higher this season.”
On the topic of category breakdown Winkelmann shares, “This year we are seeing an almost negligible volume of category 2 product.”
The cautious optimism extends to the plans for transportation of our products.
Preseason strategic negotiations and alignment has Vanguard well prepared and positioned to transport the increased grape volumes. Currently there are no concerns around space availability and equipment in the Ica region.
“The expansion of our facilities, to include both container plugs and increased pre-cool and cold storage, will help to mitigate any logistical delays. We are well positioned as we head into our peak grape volumes,” says Winkelmann.