Vanguard International said recently that the 2021-2022 Peruvian table grape crop will be one of its best producing seasons to date. Improved growing conditions and favorable weather conditions are important factors. ut the main problem in the near term is logistics.
This has been one of the most challenging seasons the industry has ever faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Peruvian industries face numerous logistical challenges and increasing costs. There are many problems, such as lack of containers at critical times, ship departure delays, extended transit times, port congestion, unloading delays, container unloading, and lack of chassis and drivers.
Until recently, demand for Table grapes from Peru was high. This was helped by early exports of table grapes from California and delayed arrival of table grapes from Chile. Vanguard International says there is still a lot of demand for new green seedless varieties that are less vulnerable to sharp price drops.
The table grape harvest ended on March 8. But a third of the harvest is still on its way to its destination today because of supply chain delays, the company says. This is the worst delay in history.
“Despite so many positive returns to the vine, this has been the most challenging season ever faced by our industry in general from an export global market perspective”, the statement said.
“We have heard stories from others who have had their shipments sit for 17 days on a vessel, that is on top of the 21-day transit time.”
The company says the complexity of the situation has forced it to become more efficient in order to cope with the ensuing difficulties. For the green variety, that means changing how it manages bunches placement.
“This was overhauled to ensure quality canopy coverage on bunches to avoid amber spots or sunburn. We picked at a peak point to optimize shelf life and our picking process was much faster,” the statement said.
Packaging has also been adjusted to reduce storage and shipping time by 5-7 days. It also further alleviates some of the delays in the supply chain.
Vanguard International has also been actively working with communities and labor structures in Peru to address labor issues.
“The position we have taken with the community is to give an alternative voice to handle labor the right way. Our key management team has been very involved with local labor leaders and authorities to address concerns and make improvements,” the statement added.