*This article first appeared in Fresh Plaza Fri 10 Dec 2021 © FreshPlaza.com*
Jupiter Group’s much anticipated new variety, ARRA 15 (ARRA Sweeties™) are harvesting in India from next week. The climate in their growing area of Nashik, Maharashtra is ideal for cultivating new varieties and Jupiter Group have reported their excitement about their ARRA™ varieties in particular.
Gareth Wilcock – Jupiter Group
“One of the most exciting developments for us out of India is our ARRA 15”
This is always a very interesting time of the year in the grape market, as South Africa is already harvesting, and we look forward to the upcoming Indian season.
Gareth Wilcock, Head of Sales from the Jupiter Group said that their Indian crop looks exceptional ahead of the forthcoming harvest period. Jupiter saw the very first commercial volumes of ARRA 15 in January 2021 and expect volumes to more than double this season, with quantities expanding exponentially over the next 5-6 years.
Expanding volumes from India
Jupiter have the exclusive rights to grow and market ARRA™ varieties in India.
“We expect to harvest 350,000 boxes for export this season,” explains Gareth. “Our Indian season runs from January through to April. One of the most exciting developments for us out of India is our ARRA 15. The ARRA 15 is a premium white variety unlike the traditional white grapes typically exported from India. By growing premium varieties in India, we can compete with South Africa and Chile on quality and offer a good product with great value.”
India is an optimum location from which to export to the global markets and has a huge domestic market for grapes too.
“From India we can export to the Middle East, Far East and US as well as the traditional European and UK markets. Only 5% of India’s grapes are exported, yet it is the second biggest producer after China, so we aim to not only increase the volume exported to key markets but see the development of premium varieties as critical in also supplying and developing the domestic market.”
“We expect the initial harvest of our ARRA 15 to be in week 50, with volumes increasing from WEEK 52/WEEK 1 that will more than double from last year. Our vision is to be the most transparent fresh produce supplier globally, so it is important that we provide a supply chain that is fully traceable as we recognise the importance of food safety for our customers.
“Investment in Indian infrastructure has been critical in developing the offer for customers and by operating the only MARCO packing-line in India we add value by packing at source to maintain quality and reduce handling.”
Jupiter has a long-term partnership with Grapa Varieties and in addition to white varieties are focused on develop red and black ARRA varieties in particular over the next five years.
“We have a 600 acre farm north west of Nashik where we test new varieties at scale, this is crucial as most Indian growers only have a few acres of land and need to be sure the variety is fully tested and meets the commercial requirements before it is planted.”