The first table grape shipment from SanLucar-affiliated Quilziolli S.A. in Ecuador was expected to reach the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands over the weekend or early this week, bearing fruit from an initiative that began in 2013.
According to Ecuadorian government entity Agrocalidad, the first shipment of 2,280 boxes of Crimson Seedless grapes left Ecuador on Nov. 28 and was expected to reach Europe within around 20 days.
Spanish-based SanLucar is well-known for its banana operations in Ecuador, with production in the district of El Azúcar in the province of Santa Elena. On this land, the table grape operation started three years ago with plantings of Superior and Crimson Seedless grapes.
In 2015 the group started planting patented IFG (International Fruit Genetics) varieties developed in California to evaluate their suitability for Ecuador, including Sweet sunshine, Sweet Globe, Jack’s Salute Sweet Enchantment and Sweet Sapphire.
Exports are expected to be sent to Spain from the Netherlands for re-packing and distribution throughout European supermarkets.
“This is the first shipment done from the province of Santa Elena. We have 158 hectares of grapes, which represents potential exports of 6,000 (metric) tons for the coming years,” said district director for the province of Santa Elena, Mario Chiquito.