Grape breeder Grapa Varieties has appointed Shiko Domovitz as its new CEO, replacing Rafi Karniel, who held the post for 15 years and will now transition to Chairman of the board.
According to a company statement, Domovitzis the former CEO of Tali Grapes, the largest table grape growing and marketing cooperative in Israel, and has decades of experience in the fresh produce industry.
With Grapa at the precipice of launching exciting new opportunities to the table grape industry, Shiko’s experience will help accelerate Grapa’s growth and development as the company enters this exciting new chapter.
“I was drawn to join Grapa because of the vision and values the company holds. I believe that my experience can contribute to the immediate fulfillment of Grapa’s great potential,” Domovitz said in the statement.
This coming summer, during the July and August field days in California, Grapa is excited to be presenting five new varieties that have completed their commercial evaluation and hold characteristics and traits that the table grape sector is eagerly awaiting.
Grapa is currently implementing structural shifts and changes by establishing local offices in regions including Egypt and Morocco, and soon Australia, to ensure closer contact and regional awareness for all of its license holders, as it expands its ARRA Varieties.
Fueling this growth is the development of the ARRA Breeding Program. The program has successfully been producing very early proven varieties that serve as a perfect solution for the inevitable gap in timing between the finish and start of each hemispheric region.
Moreover, these varieties also offer growers an upper hand with shorter growing cycles, by which the ARRA Breeding program is proud to support values such as economic and environmental sustainability, by requiring substantially less water, labor, pesticide, and fertilizer.
Due to the ever-changing global climate, production stability for growers has become top priority. It is key to hold varieties that are adaptable to climate changes and severe weather conditions. Shachar Karniel, a breeder of the ARRA Varieties explains,
“We have particularly focused on developing varieties that can withstand extreme weather conditions, ranging from tolerance to extreme heat to cold and rain. Furthermore, in most tropical regions, this advantage allows for two annual harvest cycles, significantly increasing growers’ returns.”
The ARRA Breeding Program, co-founded by Giumarra and the Karniel families, together hold a natural collaboration in terms of aligned values, with both organizations founded as family businesses, bringing generations of agricultural wisdom and knowledge. Rafi Karniel explains, “From the few companies that lead in the table grape breeding industry today, Giumarra and Grapa are the only privately owned family businesses, not driven by return of investment, but remain loyal to our family values and personal approach.”
The Southern Hemisphere Association for Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) announced further expansion with the incorporation of the Peruvian Table Grape Producers Association (Provid Peru).
Mexico's Sonora Grape Growers Association (AALPUM) has estimated that there is a record crop of 25.5 million boxes, putting it well above last year’s 21.3 million and a few percentage points up on the 23.6 million exported in 2019 - the current record.