As the Namibian table grape season progresses, the mid ARRA Varieties light up the Aussenkehr moon landscape.
Frontier Grapes is the proud creation of native Namibians, Henner and Heidrun Diekmann. Jan Mostert, Farm Manager of Frontier, leads their legacy of quality and craftsmanship with dedication and passion. Jan has shared his excitement for the performance of the ARRA Varieties: “We are pleased with this year’s performance of the ARRA Varieties. The berry size has been even bigger compared to the previous year, with an overall good quality of the crop. The yield remained consistent, confirming the reliability and stability of these varieties.“
The Frontier team attests that ARRA Passion Star™ and ARRA Sweeties™ stand out as the most satisfying varieties this year. Jan Mostert explains: “The primary reason for this is the substantial volume they yield each year. Moreover, these varieties require minimal effort in terms of preparation, reducing labour inputs. The combination of high yields with ease of management and preparation, are extremely rewarding.”
Based on their experience, they explain that ARRA varieties, and specifically ARRA Passion Star and ARRA Sweeties, have several important advantages. One of the most significant benefits, as mentioned, is the reduced labour requirements during cultivation and preparation. This efficiency allows for cost savings and streamlines the overall production process. Additionally, they emphasize that the consistent good volume of these varieties is noteworthy, and they exhibit excellent colouration consistently, eliminating concerns related to colour.
Henner Diekmann, Director of Frontier tells us where these beauties are headed: “Our primary exporting markets for table grapes include the UK, the EU, and Malaysia. These regions have consistently shown demand for our ARRA varieties, and we continue to focus on meeting the standards and preferences of these markets.”
Credit is due: The stunning photos at Frontier were taken by Dewald Kirsten of Lucentlands for Exsa, the exporters of these beautiful grapes. We know our varieties are photogenic, but we truly appreciate Dewald’s ability to capture the perfect moments and angles.
The ARRA Sweeties in Namibia mark the nearing end of the ARRA varieties harvest in this early region. Before moving on to other regions in Southern Africa, we’re delighted to share some true beauties now being shipped to markets.
ORVI shares that ARRA Sweeties had a very good production, as usual. At NGC the quality and yields were very good. All waiting to hear feedback from the markets to update you.
The last 10th ITGS tour was held several days later in the Northern Cape at Roepersfontein (Karsten), attendees enjoyed the ARRA Passion Fire production block as well as some fresh ARRA Honey Pop. The attendees were captivated and had many questions that were all answered by Georgios Bitsakos and Andre Agenbag with their unique view point they handled it very well.
A special marketing insights seminar exclusively for ARRA exporters was held at the TopFruit offices. This was a unique opportunity to offer our guests a fresh angle on different market destinations and aspects. These included a talk on packaging innovation by Gilad Sadan, “Packaging Hippie”, N.A.V.I. CO Global. He shared the latest trends from around the world. Mimi Corsaro, VP Marketing & Director Export Sales, Giumarra Vineyards Corp presented her insights on the Asian markets, based on her rich experience in successfully exporting the ARRA Varieties. An interesting panel discussion was held about the EU Markets by the experienced industry players Nico Van Der Merwe, Director at Naturesemart, Leon De Kock, CEO at Grape Alliance, Riaan Swart, director of deciduous at Dole RSA, was led by Hein Coetzee, TopFruits COO. Closing the seminar, Georgios Bitsakos, Grapa’s Head of Brand Marketing shared his outlook on the UK Market based on his extensive experience with the UK market.
As the teams were already in the Northern Cape, they made the most of their time and held their own tour of Sweet Sensation and Shelfco Farms, led by DJ Strauss.
Andre Vermaak, Global Tech Support Advisor, gives us a private tour at Sweet Sensation, highlighting ARRA Honey Pop, 1 year old vines. “Taste is amazing, Fertility is amazing”. Andre quotes DJ Straus, Sweet Sensation Farm Manager who summed it up perfectly: “This is the next best thing”.
A tour of Tirisano Farms was led by Theunis Engelbrecht. The farm tours were the perfect setting to learn from the father of these varieties, Shachar Karniel. The growers enjoyed the face-to-face, hands-on interaction with Grapa and the TopFruit teams. As relationships are a key part of our vision, we are truly grateful to be able to continuously build and strengthen these meaningful ties.
Uzi Yaron, Grapa’s R&D Director just returned from a productive farms visit tour in Pune and Nashik, India, where we witness the ARRA Varieties thrive. As always, Uzi enjoyed a warm and most hospitable welcome from Sahyadri Farms, the ARRA varieties’ exclusive representative in India as well as from all the growers he visited. During the visit Uzi engaged with over 600 growers, providing field training, assessing new variety trial blocks, fine-tuning growing protocols and strengthening the team.
Don’t miss the below footage to see textbook ARRA Sweeties™ in India, a few weeks before harvest.
“The ARRA program is doing very well, everything is on track, exactly as it should be. The teams are doing an excellent job, and it is apparent in the field” Uzi reports.
Before the visit there was a weather event that brought heavy rains and even hail. The regions where the ARRA varieties are cultivated, were not at the epicenter of the storm which was very badly hit. ARRA Sweeties has proven, yet again its resilience and suitability to the region.
Lars Ljungdahl of Dole Nordic, who was visiting at the same time, shares: “The ARRA Sweeties looked very good. Uniform bunches and berries.”
With a huge local consumer base, 95% of production in India is sold locally. When asked about the effects of the rain Lars noted: “In the ARRA fields we did not see damage. We saw ARRA Sweeties picked after rain, for local market and it looked good”.
The performance of the new ARRA red varieties in trial in India is formidable and everyone awaits the next stages as growers see the bright future that can be reached with the ARRA varieties. Uzi is set to return to India in February, confident in the promising future envisioned for ARRA varieties in India.
Don’t miss out on these other newsletters:
The Crush Everyone’s talking about!
Tony Calvillo, Vice President of International Business Development, Dayka & Hackett LLC, shared: “Today, we visited the ARRA Cherry Crush—a grape variety that exceeds the expectations of growers, consumers, and retailers alike. We are thrilled to witness its remarkable potential. Boasting an alluring cherry colour, impressive size, abundant production, and a perfect balance of taste and crunch, ARRA Cherry Crush creates a mutually beneficial scenario for discerning producers, consumers, and retailers.”
Igniting the senses
Just in time for the festive season, the inaugural batch of ARRA Fire Crunch™ made its way from Peru to the USA. Karl Conrads, founder, CEO of Grapasa accompanied the first year vines from budbreak all the way to Walmart facilities in Los Angeles.
Don’t miss the footage, showing this landmark arrival, now the sky’s the limit.
Sharing the passion – Right now in Southern Africa:
“It’s a great, beautiful grape, we are having a great time packing it.” shares Gabriel Viljoen of G.P. Viljoen Farming
We’ve heard other growers excited about this year’s performance.
“The ARRA Passion Fire was probably the most beautiful red grapes around on our farms.”
Start the season with a Kiss
This year, attendees got a firsthand look at ARRA Fire Kiss™ in Egypt. What stood out was how distinctly different it was from the Flame, leaving no doubt that it is the perfect Flame replacement.