Divine Flavor Kicks Off South American Table Grape Program and Bolsters Team; Antonio Escobar and Gerd Burmester Share
NOGALES, AZ - Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere means that it’s table grape season for Divine Flavor as the grower and importer’s Peruvian crop kicks off.
Already checking in on its partners in the Ica region of the country, the grape purveyor is anticipating a strong season for quality and total volume of its premium varieties including Sweet Globe, Autumn Crisp, and for the first time ever, organic Autumn Crisp. To bolster the success of this season, Divine Flavor has also added Gerd Burmester to its team as its Grower Relations Coordinator.
“With Divine, I am accompanying them to define a solid grape procurement base here in Peru,” said Burmester. “We are selecting the correct companies and assisting the commercial process from the very beginning so that in the future Divine Flavor has strategic suppliers who share the same values: high-quality fruit which is grown responsibly.”
Burmester will represent the company in Peru, as noted in a release. Most recently he served as Commercial Director of Ecosac Agricola for nine years, a current grape partner of Divine Flavor in Peru. Burmester also serves as Co-Founder and Commercial Director of BBC Fresh Group, a company that functions to help small to medium-size companies with direct export of fruit as well as representation of prestigious companies to establish a procurement base in Peru.
With Burmester on board, Divine Flavor is ramping up for its continued growth in South America as it collaborates with its partners to provide premium table grapes.
“When it comes to our products, and in this case table grapes, we are always looking at different growing regions throughout the world who have passion and experience for producing high-quality and flavorful products so we can keep delivering our customers premium grapes during the entire year,” said Antonio Escobar, Grapes Category Manager. “Peru seems to be one of the world’s best regions for producing quality grapes and our teams do a fantastic job down here, not only with producing these varieties, but complying with every facet of the industry requirements.”
Although Peru has been one of Divine Flavor’s key growing regions, the company is expanding its territory throughout South America through strategic partnership. The importer will work with well-established growers focusing on sustainable agriculture, social programs, and quality to up its presence in Peru and Chile.
This coming year, Divine Flavor will also continue its import deal that includes shipments from South Africa as well as from the firm’s recently added vineyards in Jalisco, Mexico, which start in April just before Sonora, Mexico.
“South Africa is starting to come along with new varietals too,” continued Escobar. “Chile has years of experience and passion for grapes and our Jalisco, Mexico crop will continue its growth. As all of this comes together, consumers will have the best table grapes from around the world these next few months.”
Over the past few years, the company has been working more with licensed IFG growers overseas in order to stretch the availability of their portfolio including its popular Cotton Candy, Gummyberry, and Jellyberry premium varieties.
“It’s tough to reach peak flavor and then put it on a boat for 15 plus days,” added Escobar. “We always want to meet the demand for the high-flavored grapes, but it requires a lot of discipline because at the end of the day, we want to offer our customers the best quality fruit even if it’s in small quantities. Every year we have an opportunity to get better at it.”
This year, the Peruvian season is estimated to produce around 64 million boxes of table grapes. Other varieties include Sable, Allison, Timco, Jack Salutes, Crimsons, and Thompsons.
As more updates on the import table grape season become available, AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest.