Straight from the ARRA Breeding site in Bakersfield, California, this week, we bring you the highlights of the recent ARRA™ Field Days as well as the Global Grape Summit where Grapa Varieties was one of the main sponsors. 

This year, after 3 years, the Global Grape Summit was moved from its previous location in London to Bakersfield, California, in the heart of the California grape industry.
The event, held on the 20th of August, reunited leading expert in the field of fresh produce from across the globe in order to discuss the current and future trends and challenges of the table grape industry. 

The Grapa team along with agents and partners, had the opportunity to meet, under the same roof, with retailers, traders, supermarket chains and growers from all over the world. 
As a Diamond sponsor, the team had the opportunity to present a beautiful selection of ARRA varieties that the attendees could taste and enjoy. The good and well recognized  ARRA Sweeties™ and the newest and most promising  selections ARD 35, ARD 36 and ARD 39 shined through.

The ARRA varieties showcased during the event
Left: Rafi Karniel during the Breeders Alliance panel

Many panels and discussions were carried out during the day at the Global Grape Summit and Rafi Karniel, Grapa CEO and Chairman of the Board, participated, along with other top fruit breeding companies, discussing the global table grape industry’s innovations, solutions and the challenges we are currently facing. 

The ARRA Sweeties harvested by Top Fruits Colombia

Rafi reports: “The key word of the event was quality: the introduction of new and improved table grape varieties has to indeed satisfy the consumer, but to succeed commercially it must work for the whole chain, from the packer, the receiver, and the retailer as well”.

Growers, traders and retailers worldwide enjoyed their experience at the ARRA Field Days this past week. Numerous participants from across the globe, convened in Bakersfield, CA,  to attend the annual field days event from August 22- 23.
The first day of the event was held in English and the second in Spanish and Portuguese.
After the successful Field Day held in July where we showcased the very early, and early ARRA varieties, it was a great joy to be reunited again with growers, retailers and marketers, as well as ARRA agents, partners and friends. 

The August ARRA Field Days gave the participants the opportunity to see, taste, and evaluate the newest mid to late ARRA varieties directly from the vine. It also provided a valuable forum for growers to network, compare techniques, and learn about updated growing technologies.

Shachar Karniel, ARRA Varieties breeder presenting ARD 35

The attendees started the days by visiting the Giumarra Vineyard’s commercial plots of the well-known mid season ARRA Sweeties™ and the newest, mid to late season, white ARD 39 and the late red ARD 43. The feedback was great as the flavor, sweetness, and crunch of these varieties really impressed the guests.

The ARRA varieties breeder, Shachar Karniel, along with the ARRA agents and agronomists were guiding the groups between the plots and provided information on the different varieties, including growing and production data as well as each variety’s characteristics. The sensory activities provided the participants with an in-depth experience to improve their understanding of the selections showcased during the tour.

The cherry color of ARD 36 really stands out

Among the varieties showcased ARD 36 caught the eyes of the participants. This unique, mid-season selection bears sweetness, crunchiness and a striking color. Its eating qualities create a truly exceptional experience. ARD 36 is newly grown commercially in Brazil and will soon be available in other countries as well. 

ARD 39

When thinking about a mid season, white grape with a hint of Muscat flavor, immediately the senses become sharpened in anticipation of something special: ARD 39 meets all expectations, delivering a unique combination of flavor. 
Grown in a commercial block in Giumarra Vineyards, the attendees appreciated the beautiful and uniform crop. 

Varieties from the cold storage and bottom right, fresh bunches

The attendees that could not attend the July Field Day were also able to enjoy and evaluate the very early and early varieties from the cold storage facilities.
The very early and early white ARRA Honey Pop™, ARRA Sugar Drop™ and the red ARD 42, harvested before Flame, were available to be tasted . 
The above varieties were harvested in mid July and this was a good chance to actually see how well they held post-harvest. ARRA Honey Pop, that already proved its good shelf life, looked especially good and maintained its full flavor. 

Left: ARD 35 from cold storage and right, fresh

The early-mid red ARD 35 looked impressive. The full bright red color and crunchiness were kept intact even after over 5 weeks in cold storage. 
There is no doubt that this mid season red selection is one of the most promising red varieties of the ARRA Breeding Programme. It was loved in July during the Early Field Day and it attracted the most interest even in August. 
We are confident that ARD 35 will have its fair share on the supermarkets’ shelves. 

Alana Gois, Grapa Coordinator Brazil is happy with ARD 35

Cheers! Until next year.
There is not a better way to end the Field Days over a nice cocktail and a good dinner at the Bakersfield Country Club.

The future looks bright and we would like to thank everyone that took part and contributed to make this event a very successful one.
A big and well deserved thank to our partners from Giumarra Vineyards, agents and representative, that joined us from all over the world, for their commitment, passion, trust and efforts in advancing the delicious future of the table grape industry through the ARRA Breeding Programme. 

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