China still leads the way as the world’s largest market for seedless table grapes and this year sees a significant increase in shipments of the Sheehan Genetics varieties Ivory™ (Sheegene 21) and Timpson™ (Sheegene 2).
The Sheehan varieties are owned and licensed by Special New Fruit Licensing (SNFL) and their Managing Director, Josep Estiarte, said that all the 4 main Southern Hemisphere grape producing countries – Chile, Peru, South Africa and Australia – will see significant increases in production in the 2020-21 season. Exports from these 4 countries are expected to reach 4 million cartons of Timpson™ and 3 million Ivory™ . Peru alone will produce 1.8 million cartons of Timpson™ and 1.2 million Ivory™ .
Both are highly productive, green seedless grapes. Ivory™ is known for its crunchy texture and delicate flavor, whereas Timpson™ has a more pronounced muscat flavor which is well appreciated in the Asian markets.
“Exporting to China is very attractive, the challenge is that the Chinese market is very demanding,” states Manuel Yzaga, General Manager Vanguard Peru who confirms that Vanguard “would like to plant more” Ivory™ and states that “the attribute that is valuable to us is that we consider it an early variety, it has a very good size and has a good taste.”
Arturo Hoffman of Agricola Don Ricardo said that today 10% of their exports go to China, but he predicts that will increase to 25-30% with the growing demand for IvoryÔ and TimpsonÔ. “Timpson is a variety of good size, flavor and texture, which delivers a very good consumer experience,” said Hoffman.
Andre Fattore, Sales and Quality manager of Pedregal says that “the greatest attribute of Timpson™ is its spectacular taste reminiscent of muscat flavor. Its extended shelf life is due to the balanced sugar/acid ratio. In the region of Ica, Timpson™ reaches a very large berry size with a good texture. As for Pedregal, the ambition would be to increase the offer of Timpson™ for the Asian and North American markets.”
Josep Estiarte of SNFL confirmed that the company is still seeing big increases in orders for new plantings of these two varieties from producers across all the Southern Hemisphere countries in response to their success in all major markets.