Oppy and Sun Grape USA partner to form strategic joint venture
Oppy, a leading grower, marketer and distributor of fresh produce from around the world, has joined forces with table grape owner, grower, packer and shipper Sun Grape USA to establish Sun Grape California.
This joint venture was developed to redefine excellence in the category by consolidating and securing a consistent supply of high-quality grapes, according to Oppy’s President and Chief Operating Officer David Smith.
“We have aspired to become California grape growers for a very long time, and we proudly announce the fruition of that dream through our partnership with Sun Grape,” shared Smith. “The exceptional quality and excellence displayed in their farming operations deeply resonate with our values, making this a synergistic collaboration. Together we embark on a journey that not only celebrates the art of grape cultivation but reflects our shared commitment to delivering the finest produce.”
Combining Oppy’s rich legacy spanning over 165 years and Sun Grape’s three-decade history of farming expertise in California’s San Joaquin Valley, this collaboration aims to create a unique solution for the market, blending a multinational reach with extensive experience. This union positions Oppy, an import grape powerhouse, to significantly complement its offerings with California table grapes, and enables Sun Grape to expand its distribution.
Sammy Cacciatore, owner and president of Sun Grape USA expressed his excitement, sharing, "When we decided we were ready to expand, we weren’t going to partner with just anyone, we were looking for a collaboration that would help us realize our goals to expand in the U.S. market. Our family has known Oppy for over 50 years, so there’s been a long-standing relationship from the beginning. It all just seemed to come together so organically, we recognized what a natural fit it was for both companies.”
Introducing new acreage from San Joaquin Valley in mid-2023, Oppy will expand its year-round reach from Peru, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Mexico, with Sun Grape’s nearly 1,500 acres of land in California.
“This partnership is vital as we aim to bring uniformity across the board — from volume, quality, varieties and beyond. Sun Grape’s commitment to excellence and their expertise in farming make them an ideal partner, reinforcing our shared vision for delivering the best produce to the market,” said Piers Hanbury, Oppy’s executive director of category development.
Together this new entity will represent a significant portion of the Californian table grape industry and service the market as a major vertically integrated supplier.
The joint venture will encompass not only Sun Grape’s marketing division, but also the family’s farming division, which will provide expertise from development, daily operations, packing, cold storage, variety testing and sustainability services. Their best-in-class farming practices incorporate the latest methods and technology, ensuring vines achieve the best quality fruit as well as receive optimal care for a long, resilient life.
This partnership is official as of Feb. 6 this year, with Cacciatore as president of operations. The team will begin working together on the Mexican season, while Sun Grape California LLC will officially begin shipping products to market in early July from their new cold storage facility and offices in Delano. Combining their offices in Visalia, Sun Grape will add its location in Montreal, Quebec to Oppy’s vast sales network throughout North and South America, and Asia.