We pray that you are keeping safe and strong and hope that our newsletter brings a little light to brighten your day in these trying times.
This week, we share with you Jupiter Group‘s report on the first year of commercial production of ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) in India. In addition, we are very pleased to introduce our newest member to join the Grapa management.

As the exclusive license holder for the ARRA varieties in India, Jupiter, in conjunction with their partners in the region Sahyadri Farms, have just completed the first commercial year of ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15), taking advantage of the tropical Indian climate.

ARRA Sweeties has shown itself to be a durable and adaptable variety providing well sized and great tasting fruit this year. The good sugar-acid balance of the grapes ensure a sought-after eating quality and a great sweetness. The ARRA Sweeties variety has performed particularly well despite the challenging Indian monsoon season when compared to traditional white varieties.

The first year of commercial volume berries were clean and compact with a great juiciness and ranged from 18-20mm with an average brix level of around 18%.

Jupiter are pleased to provide ongoing agronomy support to the growers at Sahyadri Farms, supporting them in best practices and hosting regular farmers meetings with topics including the development and fertigation of the young vines as well as canopy management. After the visit to Sahyadri Farms in March conducted by Jupiter agronomist, Andre Vermaak, there is much  optimism about the second crop in May and high hopes for the second year production too.

Jupiter’s CEO Mark Tweddle comments, “We have been really pleased with the ARRA Sweeties crop, especially as it is in its first year of commercial volume. Whilst the extended monsoon season created some challenges for the Nashik area, we are extremely positive moving forward as we look to plant a significant additional number of the ARRA Sweeties variety. It’s an exciting development for us as we continue to see a demand for the fantastic fruit India can produce.

Vilas Shinde, Chairman and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms, added “As the fruit reacted well to the general growing conditions in India, we plan to plant significant acreage in September of around 1,000 acres. We will then look to plant a further 1,000 acres using plants from our own on site nursery. We have also recently gained approval to import nine different varieties of ARRA to trial for the next season, seven of which are brand new. Exciting times are ahead.

From left: Vilas and Mark

We would like to thank both Jupiter Group and Sahyadri Farms for their professionalism and great support of the development of the ARRA programme in India, which has brought very promising results in this first year and shows great potential for the future.

Welcome to the team

We are thrilled to welcome Uzi Yaron, our newest member to join Grapa management.

Uzi is an agronomist and highly experienced farmer, holding degrees in political science, history and plant science. He has worked very closely with the ARRA programme and Karniel family for the past twenty years. Uzi has been instrumental in implementing new growing techniques and has acted as a consultant to the ARRA growers. He is joining the Grapa team as R&D Director and will be involved in all technical matters worldwide.

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