Loading…

Mexican grape industry convenes for preseason meeting

Hector-Platt-Juan-LaborinHERMOSILLO, SONORA, MEXICO — Hundreds of upbeat Mexican grape industry members — and their industry affiliates — gathered in this Sonora city April 19-20 to discuss the coming table grape crop, other related issues and enjoy a reunion with old friends.

This fourth-annual grape symposium’s climactic moment was the announcement of the 2018 Mexican grape crop export volume estimate — 15.8 million cases. This is an average-sized crop but well below last year’s record 21 million exported boxes. Industry leaders Marcos Molina, president of AALPUM, and Juan Laborin, director general of the association, both directed a strong message to North American produce buyers that there will be plenty of fruit available for spring promotions.

AALPUM, has recommended promotions for various varieties, running from May 11 until July 2. The earliest grapes from Sonora are to be picked in the first days of May.

Key shipping areas in Sonora are Guaymas, which is warmer and, generally speaking, has the earliest grapes; Hermosillo, which has large vineyard to the north and west of town, is the center of the deal; and Caborca, not far south of the Arizona border, which brings on a large volume of table grapes late in the Mexican grape deal, ending in the early days of July.

New plantings in Jalisco, far to the south, are gaining maturity, with volumes becoming statistically significant in a year or two. Mexican growers are also beginning to plant grapes in northern Baja. That production is a couple of years out.

The meeting commenced on April 19 with a tour of the La Florida vineyard, operated by the Platt family in the growing district Pesqueria, which is about 25 miles north of Hermosillo.

A long entourage then drove to nearby La Mercedes, a large vineyard owned by Grupo Molina. Suarez Brokerage, based in Nogales, sponsored a steak dinner that was presented under green-lit palm trees and a clear black sky. Music from The Beatles provided upbeat background music on a perfect, warm evening.

Beyond the grape estimate, the April 20 Symposium, held at Hermosillo’s Los Lagos golf club, included an analysis of Sonora weather patterns, which are expected to continue an ongoing trend of warmer, drier growing seasons.

Benjamin Grayeb of Protección Agropecuaria Compañia de Seguros S.A., a key leader in Mexico’s avocado trade, reviewed the remarkable growth and promotion of his industry. He encouraged Mexico’s grape growers to increase their contributions for a generic promotion of their fruit.

Ayco reports jump in bagged asparagus sales
Ayco Farms is experiencing a substantial increase in bagged asparagus sales to some of its largest retail customers as consumer trends are changing in today's economy. “Bagged asparagus grabbed attention and seems to have kept traction due to consumer trends and the convenience of packaged produce,” said Avi Nir, Ayco Read More ...
Natural Grocers announces new director
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. announced that David C. Rooney was unanimously elected to the company's board of directors on Aug. 5. Rooney's election filled the vacant seat on the board created by the previously announced retirement of Michael T. Campbell, which was effective Aug. 5.  Rooney will serve an initial Read More ...
New cold storage and cross-docking operation Glacier Peak opens in Washington
Randy Hartmann, co-owner of Glacier Peak, a new cold storage, packing and cross-docking operation in Wapato, WA, announced its acquisition of the 55,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse Washington Harvest. Hartmann shared that "the purchase of this cold storage and packing operation is intended to provide for greater capacity and Read More ...
Keep on organic summer fruit for September success
Summer is cruising by and Stemilt’s Artisan Organics peach and nectarine season is doing the same. Now is the time to plan and push sales starting Labor Day and through the remainder of September, according to Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s senior marketing manager. Retailers should plan ads and focus on creative displays to show off Read More ...
Kroger launches contactless payments pilot in QFC division
The Kroger Co. launched a contactless payments pilot across the QFC division, located in Seattle, WA, allowing customers to use their mobile device for a more seamless checkout experience. The pilot includes the acceptance of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, mobile banking apps and contactless chip cards, Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse