Namibian grape season off to a flying start
A representative of ayQuality - a GoReefer Logistics subsidiary contracted by Cool Fresh to assess the production quality - said everything had so far been going better than in previous seasons.
"It's going very very well, it's a productive season and volumes are very good," quality inspector Darryn Irmscher told www.freshfruitportal.com.
He said it was too early to give exact volume estimates just yet as the harvest for early varieties only began at the beginning of November, but he believed the crop was 'going to be big'.
Cool Fresh's Namibian grape production is in the country's south in Aussenkehr on the border with South Africa's Northern Cape, in a region that is said to have a mild coastal climate with high temperatures and low humidity, which is perfect for growing grapes.
The company grows a selection of different varieties, including Flame Seedless, Sugraone, Victoria, Red Globe, Prime and Thompson, on around 1,900 hectares of farmland.
Irmscher said climatic conditions in the region had been 'fantastic' for grape production, and 'any farmer could only wish for this'.
There were some minor concerns not all the fruit had reached the intended sugar levels, but Irmscher said the situation was improving quickly as the season progressed.
"[That's been] on and off, but for most of the fruit that we're looking at the sugars are within spec - sometimes even higher than what they should be - so it's picking up, it's getting a lot better," he said.
The market situation seems to be going as well as the production side, with Irmscher saying the company had so far seen good demand and had received good prices.
The vast majority of exports are bound for the EU and U.K., with some minor quantities headed for the Middle East and Russia.