In this week’s edition we share with you updates of the ongoing harvest in South Africa and Namibia and bring news from the ARRA™ season in Peru.
This week Arnold Viljoen and Andre Agenbag, TopFruit Agronomists, conducted an ARRA Honey Pop™ field day at the Omdraai farm in the Kakamas region, Northern Cape. There was a good turnout and the TopFruit team showcased the winning attributes of this striking early white variety. Andre recounts soon after the event: “The producers could not believe the low labour requirements compared with the quality results of the grapes. Indeed it was again proved that ARRA Honey Pop has the characteristic of being the supreme very early white variety”.
ARRA Field Day at Omdraai farm
Meanwhile in Namibia the harvest is progressing well even given the unexpected rain, and in the Northern Cape the harvest is just kicking off. AJ Jansen van Vuuren, Table Grape Manager at TopFruit reports: “The Namibia harvest is well underway, Early Sweet™ has impressed with its exceptional quality, size, and above expected production. The ARRA varieties harvest is close to an end with ARRA Passion Star™ and ARRA Sugar Drop™, while ARRA Passion Fire™ is set to start during week 47/48. ARRA Sweeties™ is set to start around week 50, and we expect the production to be above the estimate with very good quality as is synonymous with the Namibian Grapes”.
Impressive ARRA Sweeties and ARRA Passion Fire in Namibia
Flood levels in Noordoewer and Aussenkehr have risen in recent weeks due to high rainfall in the northern regions of South Africa. Luckily it looks like the levels have stabilized and will lower within the coming days. Aussenkehr also experienced some unexpected rain during week 47 (4-6mm) with negative effects on some varieties. Such occurrences exemplify that climatic conditions are ever changing.
Aerial photo of the flooded Orange River and water levels pushing into some vineyards
Varieties that can overcome both climatic and economical adverse conditions are essential to growers. That is why the ARRA varieties’ ongoing commitment is focused on the producers as well as the retailers and market. AJ reports about the Northern Cape and adds: “The harvest in the Northern Cape is looking good, some light rain could cause limited and isolated problems but overall the Early Sweet quality has been looking good. The ARRA varieties are very impressive thus far and we are expecting good results quality wise. The harvest is some 7 to 10 days earlier with several producers already starting to harvest ARRA Passion Star and ARRA Passion Fire, soon to be followed by ARRA Sugar Drop”.
Karl Conrads, Grapasa CEO and ARRA territorial representative in South America, describes the ongoing ARRA harvest in Peru and reports: “We are very excited about this season in Peru. The growers started to pick the first bunches of ARRA Sweeties™ and ARRA Passion Fire™ at the beginning of November and we are now in full harvest throughout the regions. We hope not to incur any logistics challenges, as sustained last year. The disruptions caused much distress among growers and exporters and we hope this season this burden will be alleviated. We are keeping a positive attitude so far”. Karl continues: “This year, the ARRA growers in Peru, with the support of Arsenio Duarez, ARRA Agronomist and the Grapasa team, focused on improving their crop’s quality. Much effort was invested across the whole production process aiming to deliver the best ARRA Varieties in terms of both, quality and appearance”. Looking forward Karl concludes: “We will always face challenges, especially in an unpredictable industry such as Fresh Produce nevertheless, we will do our utmost in order to support and guide the ARRA growers to achieve the success they much deserve”.
Manuelita Frutas Y Hortalizas
Manuelita's uniform ARRA Passion Fire
Manuelita is located in Ica, the main table grape-producing region in southern Peru. Situated on the edge of the Atacama desert, it has one of the driest climates in the world. The harvest of ARRA Passion Fire is ongoing and so far it looks very encouraging, with big, uniform bunches as well as uniform berry size. The Manuelita team successfully achieved the bright colour and firmness that is true to the ARRA Passion Fire characteristics. This season harvest seems to be really good so far and the pictures speak for themselves. The production forecast at Manuelita stands at 3,500 boxes of 8.2Kg per hectare.
Sociedad Agricola 3P
Agricola 3P’s ARRA Sweeties harvest started about a week ago and the team is happy with the good quality grapes they are harvesting. Along the rows the bunches are uniform, the berries are even in size, clean and shiny. The team expects to harvest 3,800 boxes of 8.2 Kg per hectare of ARRA Sweeties in Fundo La Cima, Chiclayo. Agricola 3P has been growing ARRA Varieties since 2015 and today we can clearly see how they mastered their skills in growing them.
ARRA Sweeties' harvest at Agricola 3P
Proagro

Proagro, located in Piura, also in Northern Peru started the ARRA Sweeties™ harvest during the second week of November. Following our recent Newsletter update, we are glad to receive feedback, that the team is now enjoying the fruit of their dedicated work. This season’s crop, shows a beautiful true-to-type ARRA Sweeties, with a Brix of 18, and most importantly: a good sugar – acidity balance, which is the key of this variety’s remarkable eating experience.

From left: Arsenio Duarez, ARRA Agronomist visiting Proagro's Packing house accompanied by Fernando Soberanes, Division Manager at The Giumarra Companies and Mike Rogers, Director of East Coast Operations at Giumarra Vineyards Corporation.
ARRA TEST BLOCK
The ARRA Varieties test block at Nussatec Farm is showing very positive results so far. Located in Lambayeque, Northern Peru, the hills of this region are irrigated by the Andes and the Amazon rivers as well as by their underground water reserves. This region has an arid, semitropical climate that allows for a diversity of crops.
ARD 35
ARD 35 is, with no doubt, the shining star in Nussatec test block. Karl is a big supporter of this variety since the beginning and says: “This fantastic red once again proved its excellent characteristics and it is an extraordinary variety. ARD 35 is something special that will indeed stand out on the supermarket shelves”. Karl adds: “ARD 35 has an incredible bright red color, incomparable crispness, good caliber and good post-harvest. The stringent evaluation process that we carried out showed its suitability in Peru as well as in Chile”.
ARRA Honey Pop
The very early white ARRA Honey Pop™ is performing very well in the evaluation block at Nussatec. The fertility is excellent and the berries’ skin is not sensitive to sun burns. The vines are currently 104 days after bud break, having been pruned 6 months after planting, the harvest is planned to start next week.
ARRA Yum!bo
ARRA Yum!bo is also showing signs of success. This mid season white, highly productive variety boasts unique berry in terms of shape and size, that can reach 20 grams each. This excellent white variety, harvested immediately after ARRA Sugar Drop™ and ripening concurrently with Thompson, will be harvested in a few days
A big thank you to the TopFruit team in South Africa and Namibia and to the Grapasa team in South America for their commitment in assisting and supporting the ARRA Varieties growers season after season. Your success is our success.

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