This week, the spotlight is on the field day held in Peru presenting
ARRA 79B-44+1 and South Africa where the harvest is in full swing.

Back in December, we outlined the first commercial harvest of ARRA Honey Pop™ (ARRA 33) on the farm of Paul Dippenar, located in Blouputs, South Africa. We are delighted to report that this first shipment of ARRA Honey Pop arrived in Germany, after a long 45 days of traveling by sea! The delay was caused by the disruption in the transportation industry due to the pandemic, but this challenge confirmed the great storage capabilities of ARRA Honey Pop, which after 45 days was enthusiastically received by the supermarkets in Germany.

The buyer in Germany noted: “The quality of this ARRA Honey Pop looked good and the presentation in the box, especially with the paper bag, looked nice. The berries were firm and crispy, and the grapes tasted really good. The color was a nice light green and the Brix levels were optimal. In my opinion, ARRA Honey Pop looked very good and we are now waiting for the comments from our clients.”
ARRA Honey Pop™ is a very early white variety known for its crispiness, nice creamy color and great shelf life.

ARRA Honey Pop™ arrival in Germany after 45 days by sea

«A star is born» is what Karl Conrads, ARRA Agent in South America and Grapasa CEO, has said regarding the ARRA 79B-44+1.
This selection was the focus of the ARRA field days held last week in Peru. The event’s purpose was to showcase to the Peruvian producers the successful results obtained with this outstanding new early red selection.

Karl Conrads presenting ARRA 79B-44+1 to the producers attending the field days
ARRA 79B-44+1: The vines are only 11 months old

We were happy to interview Karl just after the event:
Q: Karl, the ARRA 79B-44+1 was the focus during these field days, please can you tell us more about it and its future in Peru?

«In Peru, the challenge we were facing was to find a suitable red variety that can achieve a bright full color. I can say that we have found it. ARRA 79B-44+1 will have a great future in Peru as it amazed us all with its beautiful cherry color, berry size and elongated shape. It is crunchy and sweet with an optimal yield and as an added bonus, it requires very little labor. This variety is something special that will indeed stand out on the supermarket shelves».

Attendees of the ARRA Peru Field Day and the Grapasa Team

Q: We understand that attendees from the main leading table grape producing companies in Peru attended despite the challenging situation.  What has been the general impression of the producers that attended the Field Day?

«Firstly, the producers were impressed by the full intense cherry color, but when they tasted the variety they were even more amazed by its crunchiness and flavor: «excellent variety» was everybody reaction».

The look and flavor of the ARRA 79B-44+1 was appreciated by all the visitors

What does the future look like in Peru as well as in the other territories in South America when it comes to the ARRA Programme?

«What we have now to offer is something of a higher level. The new generation of the ARRA Varieties is unique and carries qualities that will be appreciated by both, the producer and the consumer. The ARRA Programme is offering early, mid and late varieties with a great crunchiness, ease of growth, resistance to changing climatic conditions, great yield and last but not least, exceptional eating qualities.

We are confident that varieties like the mid-season white ARRA YUM!BO™ (ARRA 34), as well as the mid-season white selection ARRA 93B-35+7, are suitable in Peru as well as in Chile, Ecuador and Colombia, and I am naming just a few of the new varieties that we have in our basket.»

Left ARRA 15 (ARRA Sweeties™) from TopFruit Colombia and right from Agrindzap, Ecuador

Q: Karl, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

«The new generation of ARRA Varieties will be a great addition to the ARRA 15 (ARRA Sweeties), now gaining ground in the tropical climate of Ecuador and Colombia, thanks to its resistance to rain. Moreover, the future looks bright».

A partnership between Michael Vorster from TGMS, Leon De Kock and Pieter De Kock of Grape Alliance has resulted in 120 hectares of ARRA varieties within the group and thus, this season, they will be packing around 700,000 cartons of ARRA varieties under the Grape Alliance brand. These are truly impressive productions, and the following photos showcase the quality.

ARRA Passion Fire™ & ARRA Sweeties™ packed under Grape Alliance
ARRA Passion Fire (ARRA 29) & ARRA Sweeties (ARRA 15)

Bellevue Farm (Dippenaar), Augrabies

The ARRA Passion Fire™ produced by Pieter Dippenaar on Bellevue farm also gave a great performance this year. Size, quality, and good production is something that is becoming synonymous with ARRA 29. Higher Brix results in much more texture and crunch to the berries and is a contributing factor to this early red variety’s vines orders in Southern Africa this year.

TC Rabie, Hex River Valley

The ARRA Varieties are performing well in the Hex River. We salute Schalk Willem Rabie of TC Rabiet for producing a beautiful crop. The pictures below of ARRA Sugar Drop™, ARRA Sweeties™ and ARRA Passion Fire™ speak for themselves and we especially love the mixed punnets of  ARRA Sweeties and ARRA Passion Fire: a match made in heaven.

Left: ARRA Sugar Drop™, right: mixed punnets of ARRA Sweeties™ and ARRA Passion Fire™ produced by Schalk Willem Rabie

Rooted, De Doorns

Another great crop worth mentioning is from Ryno Palm from Rooted Global Fruit (Pty) Ltd. These ARRA Sugar Drop™ and ARRA Passion Fire™  are indeed Class 1 premium quality.

ARRA Sugar Drop and ARRA Passion Fire produced and marketed by Rooted Global Fruit

Grapa and TopFruit would like to thank: Michael Vorster from TGMS, Leon De Kock and Pieter De Kock of Grape Alliance, Pieter Dippenaar, Schalk Willem Rabie and Ryno Palm for sending the beautiful pictures and updates and for their diligence and positive attitude in the growing and preparation of the ARRA varieties.

The season in Chile looks promising and the ARRA producers in regions IV and V are seeing good results with ARRA Passion Fire™ as the crop looks great.
Karl Cornads reports: «This year, the vines are in their second or even third year of production and they are indeed well developed and show high vigor.  As the vines carry more reserve, this contributes to an even better and improved ARRA 29 with an outstanding berry crunchiness and flavor». 

ARRA 29 (ARRA Passion Fire) produced by Cerro Campanario (region IV, Chile)
ARRA 29 (ARRA Passion Fire™) produced by Dole Chile (region V, Chile)
Karl adds: «ARRA Sweeties is now one of the leading varieties in Chile and the growers have now mastered its production allowing them to obtain premium quality». This season, Rio Blanco’s ARRA 15 crop caught our eyes for being very impressive with large, clean berries and uniform bunches as seen in the pictures below.
Rio Blanco Chile team is happy and proud to show their ARRA 15. From left: Óscar Silva, North Area Manager, Alejandro Cortes, General Administrator Palqui, and Ismael Rodríguez, Deputy Administrator San Antonio.

We are very pleased with the current harvest and future possibilities in the Southern Hemisphere and rest assured we will continue to share with you news from these regions. 

Our great appreciation to:

Karl Conrad, Arsenio Duarez, ARRA Agronomist, all Grapasa team, AJ Jansen van Vuuren and all Topfruit team for their efforts and support, especially during these challenging times: with your dedication, we are taking the ARRA program to a new level.

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