Targeting the deployment of more premium proprietary table grape varieties, AM Fresh Group and Chile’s Rio Blanco have announced a new joint venture in Mexico’s most prominent grape growing region.
According to a statement, the agreement harnesses Rio Blanco’s Hermosillo, Mexico based operation, Terramara, and will focus on “the production of a diverse array of premium varieties, to offer customers a breadth of high-flavored, disease resistant, and high-antioxidant table grape varieties.”
The premium varieties from proprietary breeding platforms will complement the existing table grape offer, improve competitiveness of table grapes relative to other fruits, and ultimately drive the sophistication of the table grape category for the benefit of retailers and consumers.
The emphasis on production will focus on innovative grapes which are resilient, have higher yields, are more resistant to weather changes, deliver consistent high-quality flavor profiles and have higher nutritional values.
“At AM Fresh we seek to deliver the next generation of innovative table grape varieties and together with Rio Blanc we have the thrilling opportunity to excite consumers with delicious, healthy and natural varieties produced under sustainable practices, as well as to extend the growing season to meet growing demand,” said Alvaro Muñoz, CEO of AM Fresh Group.
“Sustainable agriculture is pivotal for Rio Blanco and the region in which we operate,” said Sandro Peppi, this firm’s chairman. “In order to drive significant impact in the table grape industry in Mexico and to our export markets, it is critical that we combine our efforts with global grape experts and together accelerate a more sustainable future for Mexico and the table grape category.”
The new combined entity will be managed by Luis Felipe Montes, Managing Director of Terramara for the past nine years.
“We are thrilled by this joint venture and its objective to add growth, cooperation and new technology to Terramara in the development of new varieties and therefore get closer to retailers and consumers.” Montes said.
Mexico’s table grape production has been growing steadily over the past three seasons, with growers shifting to new varieties to extend its season and achieve a greater consistency in supply, which runs from May into July.
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.