An Update on the 2023/2024 Peruvian Grape Season

Ethan Williams, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Vanguard International, chatted with our friends at FreshPlaza last week to share an update on the busy Peru grape season. Here is a look at that conversation.

The grape harvest has begun two weeks earlier this season out of southern Peru. “This is allowing us to meet current, and new, customer demand that is elevated due to the shortages/quality issues resulting from the California and Piura (northern Peru) circumstances,” says Ethan Williams, VP Sales and Marketing Vanguard International. “Those weather events have significantly reduced the yields compared to the originally forecasted volumes.”

Harvest in Ica, Peru has begun with the Ivory, Autumn Crisp and Sweet Celebration varieties, all of which are expected to continue to harvest over the next few weeks.

That shortage out of California and Northern Peru is in turn putting pressure on premium quality grape supplies particularly. “We have an excellent crop to work with this year,” says Williams. “Vanguard’s owned table grape plantings are shaping up to produce similar volumes to last season.”

Producing regions

Grape supplies worldwide right now are coming from several countries including the U.S., South Africa, Chile and Brazil though Vanguard is primarily shipping from its Ica production. “However we continue to source products from all other stated regions to create the greatest value for our global customers based on their respective preferences,” says Williams.

To no surprise, the demand is strong globally for Ica grapes. “Buyers have been actively looking for supply from the Southern hemisphere,” says Williams. In fact, demand is so great that the pricing potential is “through the roof” for premium packs. “We are maintaining reasonable pricing with our partners, however, as we recognize the precious balance between sales returns and volume turnover. Our goal is to create a win-win scenario with our suppliers and customers. This allows for terrific returns for suppliers, competitive pricing for our customers and shipment rates that keep up with harvests,” says Williams.