Ag-Innovation

Oppy boosts technology focus in California grape category

Multinational produce grower-marketer Oppy says it is distinguishing itself in the California grape deal through its innovative advances.

“We are precise and strategic in the opportunities we take on,” said Senior Manager of Insights and Innovation Garland Perkins.

“They won’t all be successes, that’s just the nature of innovation. Which is why we are intentional in what we pursue, only investing in solutions that have a likelihood of high ROI with a keen focus on improving products, creating efficiencies and mitigating issues.”

All of which have been making headway in Oppy’s California grape vineyards with three of its latest innovation partners. Most recently, ongoing trials with Bloomfield Robotics forecast and manage yield through its deep learning AI and ground-based image capture that detects and measures phenotypes automatically.

Previous trials with Vinergy showed signs of decreased labor costs by utilizing their harvest cart that enables a higher capacity and more secure trek — an upcoming trial in fall 2021 will test their latest technology, an autonomous version of the original cart.

Along with Hazel Technologies that that will help enable greener and more turgid stems, with less presence of shriveled grapes, and maintained enhanced storage life under transit and warehouse conditions through its Hazel 100 grape sachets that release active, shelf-life enhancing vapors.

Those advances in yield forecasting, labor efficiency and shelf-life extension only add to the consistency of supply in the Ocean Spray® label, Oppy’s primary grape brand, said Director of Domestic Grapes and Sales Manager Marc Serpa.

“Having shipped our first pack of grapes in the iconic Ocean Spray brand just last year to announcing our 12-month program at the beginning of 2021 really shows how Oppy is adding value to the category.”

Serpa further explained: “It is a very progressive category. We’re always looking for opportunities to ensure that our grapes have distinct characteristics like enhanced flavor, consistency, ease of production and shelf life for our retailers.

"That’s why pursuing these innovative solutions, working with all major varietal development pioneers and having year-round availability is essential to growing into the next stage of our business and why Oppy is the ideal grape shipper for retail partners looking for a one-stop-shop.”

Oppy grapes are available year-round from Peru, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and California.

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