Posts Tagged “grape shipments”

Mountain View Expands Premium Table Grape Program with 3 Varieties

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Mountain View Fruit Sales will be highlighting three varieties for the upcoming season of its Estate Vineyards table grape program.

The Reedley, Calif.-based company introduced its premium table grape program last summer under the Estate Vineyards label, led by Grape Division Director George Matoian.

“We will have our first candy variety with Candy Snaps, available in our Estate Vineyards brand,” Matoian said in a news release. “And we are one of [only a] few growers in California to have the newly released USDA black seedless grape variety, Solbrio, in production. We will also offer the highly coveted, concord-flavored Kyoho black seeded grape this season.”

Packs will be available in traditional corrugated cartons, new plastic corrugated cartons, and Styrofoam, the release said.

Matoian said Mountain View is “catching up a little from last year’s start dates” as the 2023 season nears.

“We are approximately eight to nine days behind last year’s crop. On most varieties we are at the leaf removal and bunch thinning stages,” he said. “The good news is this year’s bunches are some of the largest I have seen in many years and the cells of the grape berry are rapidly dividing to give us the maximum berry size we require.”

“Mountain View will have increased volume this season on both premium and proprietary grape varieties,” owner Mike Thurlow said in the release. “We are expecting fantastic quality again this year, and we believe 2023 will be a vintage grape season.”


  • Established in 1994 with a vision focused on growing flavorful peaches, plums and nectarines on family farms packed under the brands Summeripe, Summertime and Summersweet.
  • In 2017, Mountain View expanded its portfolio to include premium citrus packed under the brands Rascals, Brilliant and Aces.
  • In 2022, Mountain View expanded its portfolio to include a premium grape program under the brand Estate Vineyards.

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Four Star Fruit Expands Growing and Shipping Capabilities

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Delano, California — Four Star Fruit, a leading grower of organic and conventional table grapes, recently acquired 1,100 acres of table grape vineyards and two modern distribution facilities near Bakersfield, California from Grapeman Farms. The acquisition is an exciting opportunity for Four Star Fruit to expand its operations and meet the growing demand for table grapes across the US and abroad.

Family-owned and operated by the Campbell family for three generations, Four Star Fruit is committed to sustainable farming and innovation, offering a wide range of grape varieties, including the trademark Pristine®. The additional boxes of grapes from these vineyards will further bolster Four Star Fruit’s supply of grapes to major retail chains in the United States, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality grapes to consumers. The two cold storage facilities will provide additional logistical support with Four Star Fruit’s new 52-week sales program.

Jack Campbell, President of Four Star Fruit, expressed optimism about the acquisition and said, “We are committed to delivering high-quality and diverse grape varieties to our retail partners and consumers through our planned growth, which includes this exciting acquisition as one of many steps in expanding our domestic and international fruit procurement.”

Founded in 1974, Grapeman Farms has had a stellar reputation as a grower and shipper representing some of the industry’s most well-known varieties.  The company has provided table grapes to the largest retailers for the past 49 years. The acquisition is a perfect fit for Four Star Fruit’s table grape operation, and the Campbell family looks forward to expanding their capacity to satisfy the growing consumer demand at the store level.

Alongside the announcement, Four Star Fruit has gained exclusive rights to the highly sought-after sweet late-season red Holiday® Seedless grape variety. This attainment will allow the company to continue working on its varietal expansion with the use of the Holiday® Seedless grape DNA.

For more information about Four Star Fruit and Grapeman Farms, please visit their respective websites at and

About Four Star Fruit, Inc.

Four Star Fruit has been in table grape production as a grower-shipper since 1987. The company is family-owned and operated for three generations by the Campbell family. Four Star produces remarkable premium conventional and organic grapes, including the trademarked Pristine® variety. Their fields are located throughout the San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys and internationally in Peru, Chile, and Mexico. Their top-of-the-line facility allows for innovation and flexibility in packaging. Four Star farms thousands of acres of grapes annually while carefully ensuring each bunch’s quality from planting to harvest, packing to shipping.

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Good Volume Fruit Shipments From California are Expected Through Summer

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More favorable weather for growing crops has California fruit shipments looking better than at this time last year.

At Anthony Vineyards of Bakersfield, it should start grape shipments from the Coachella Valley within in the next week, which will continue through June. The grape loadings will be shifting to the San Joaquin Valley, where the vast amount of California grape shipments originate. Another big crop exceeding 110 million boxes is expected.

Citrus Shipments

The California citrus industry has been disappointed overall, mainly due to weather factors. However, summer citrus shipments are now looking more favorable with late season valencias replacing navel oranges. Valencias should be available until the Fourth of July.

Grower/shipper Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, believes California lemon loadings will be off 10 to 15 percent this year as the season ends this month.

Trinity Fruit Sales Co. In of Fresno notes the California mandarin crop is one of the state’s largest. As a result, product which normally winds down in April will be shipped through May. As the company’s domestic season comes to a close it will be importing mandarins for the first time from Peru, Chile and Uruguay,

Melon Shipments

Domestic melon shipments should be plentiful this season. Five Crowns Marketing of Brawley, CA has just started loadings of Origami cantalouple and will continue in the desert through June. The company’s Mexican watermelons are now moving in good volume, and continuing through May, before shifting to Arizona.

Westside Produce of Firebaugh, CA is now shipping cantaloupes and honeydews and will continue in good volume into October.

Stone Fruit Shipments

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit shipments are underway and Trinity Fruit of Fresno anticipates one of its biggest crops. Simonia Fruit Co. of Fowler, CA is expressing optimism for its peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots.

Berry Shipments

California berry shipments were down heading into Easter, however volume is shaping up well for strawberries, blackberries and raspberries from Watsonville and Santa Maria through the summer and well into the fall.

California blueberry shipments should be good through late spring before transitioning to Oregon and British Columbia during the summer months.

Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA just started its California cherry harvest. Last year, California produce only 4 million boxes, but a substantial increase is expected this season.

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CA Grape Shipments to Go Through January; Romaine E.Coli update

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Grape shipments from California are moving in record volume as the season approaches a conclusion.

Between October 13th and November 30th, California grape shipments totaled over 27.7 million 19-pound boxes to domestic and export markets.  The USDA report the number beats the previous seven-week record during that time frame set in 2013.

California grape grower-shippers also broke the record for the three-month shipping period from September 1st to November 30th, with over 55 million boxes of grapes, according to the California Table Grape Commission. The previous record was also set in 2013.

Shippers also set a new record for the five-week period of September 8th to October 12th.

Shipments are expected to continue through the end of January.

Romaine E.coli 

The Food and Drug Administration has named Adam Bros. Farm in Santa Barbara County, California as one potential source of the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine — but it cautions that the finding does not explain all the illnesses in the outbreak.
Investigators found E. coli in the sediment of an irrigation reservoir used by Adam Bros. Farm, but the FDA continues to search for other sources of contaminated product.
“While the analysis of the strain found in the people who got ill and the sediment in one of this farm’s water sources is a genetic match, our traceback work suggests that additional romaine lettuce shipped from other farms could also likely be implicated in the outbreak,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and deputy commissioner Frank Yiannas said in a statement. “Therefore, the water from the reservoir on this single farm doesn’t fully explain what the common source of the contamination (is). We are continuing to investigate what commonalities there could be from multiple farms in the region that could explain this finding in the water and potentially the ultimate source of the outbreak.”

The investigation has produced records from five restaurants in four states, with those restaurants sourcing from 11 distributors, nine growers and eight farms, according to the FDA.
Currently, there is no one company that is a part of all the supply chains being investigated.

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California Grape Shipments to be Big This Season; Washington Stone Fruit is Gearing Up

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DSCN0818California is expected one of its larger grape season shipping season on record. Meanwhile, Washington state stone fruit shipments are gearing up.

San Joaquin Valley grape shipments get underway in the southern district of Arvin next week and will have a significant growth in several newer table grape varieties and an overall increase in volume compared to a year ago.  It also is expected to be the second-largest California table grape shipping season in history.

 The 2018 crop estimate statewide that also includes the Coachella Valley is estimated at 115 million boxes [19-pound equivalent], up from last year’s 109 million boxes.  This increase will be coming from the San Joaquin Valley.  The record is 117.5 million boxes for the 2013 crop.

Although most of the volume increase in 2018 will be in Kern and Tulare counties, there are also more plantings in the Arvin district , which is traditionally the earliest district in the valley.

By contrast, volume is down in the Coachella Valley in California’s southern desert, where the season is coming to an end.  The 2018 estimate for the Coachella Valley is 4.5 million boxes, down from 5 million last year.  The Coachella season precedes the San Joaquin Valley season and corresponds to the timing of the Sonora, Mexico, grape deal.  Sonora and Coachella are often referred to, collectively, as desert grapes (although sometime, in the California context, the term is used in reference to Coachella only).

Sonora grape growers are estimating a harvest this year of 16 million boxes, down from 21 million last year.  A smooth transition from the Sonora and Coachella seasons into the early San Joaquin deal is expected.  Coachella and Sonora are roughly about 20 percent less than what they were last year.

Washington Stone Fruit Shipments

Early season stone fruit shipments start in July and will peak in volume from mid-August to late September.  About one-half Washington state stone fruit acreage in now planted organic and by the end of 2018 it will be over two-thirds organic.

Washington peaches, nectarines, apricots and Italian prunes are expected to be similar in volume to 2017.

In 2017, Washington’s 400 stone fruit growers harvested 8,400 tons of peaches, which is an average size crop.  Nectarines had 7,000 tons, while apricots came in with 6,600 tons, trending upward from previous years.

Peach and nectarine shipments start in July and peaking in August and September. Apricots started in June and go through July, with some extending into August. Prune shipments occur during July and August.


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Imports: Peruvian Grapes to Bounce Back; Drop in South African Fruit Imports is Seen

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GrapesSAPeruvian table grapes at the start season earlier this year was delayed due the effects of El Nino, but a comeback is seen…..From South Africa, fruit imports are expected to be less.

While Peruvian grape exports declined about 10 percent due to the weather, the country is expected to rebound.  Table grapes are Peru’s number one agricultural export, and it is estimated the country’s 2017-18 production to be 638,000 metric tons, compared to 605,000 metric tons the past season. Exports are forecast at 380,000 metric tons, a jump from the 300,000 metric tons in 2016-17 season.

Rising demand, better yielding varieties and more acreage are the primary reason for increasing volume.

The U.S. is the largest import market for Peruvian grapes, followed by the Netherlands and China.

 South African Imports

Drought and low water levels in reservoirs in the Western Cape region of South Africa are expected to cut exports for the 2017-18 season.

The Western Cape region accounts for the biggest volume of deciduous fruits in South Africa, though the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo provinces have gained in importance in the last two decades.

Grape Shipments

South African table grape exports for the 2017-18 season will drop 15 percent to 258,000 metric tons, due to a decrease in area harvested and small fruit size in the Western Cape growing areas.  However, normal production and growing conditions are expected in the Orange River growing regions.

South African grapes typically are shipped from October to May, with the first grapes coming from the Northern Cape Region and the season ending with the Hex River Valley.  The U.S. and Canadian markets have increased imports of South African grapes the past few years, but still accounted for only 3 percent of total exports last season. The European Union takes about 75 percent of South Africa’s fresh grape exports.

Apples and pears

2017-18 apple exports from South Africa are forecast to decline 5 percent to 500,000 metric tons due to reduced harvest area, smaller fruit size and limited irrigation water.  Africa takes about 40 percent of South Africa’s apple exports, followed by the European Union with 30 percent and Asia with 19 percent.  Only light volumes are shipped to the U.S.

Meanwhile, South Africa pear exports in 2017-18 are projected at 250,000 metric tons, down 3 percent from the previous year. About half of South Africa’s pear exports are shipped to Europe, with typically about 1,000 metric tons or less destined to the U.S. market.

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World Grape Shipping Outlook is Favorable

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dscn8447Grape production throughout the world is forecast to jump, rising 1 million tons to 21.9 million, as China’s growth continues and Turkey’s production recovers.

U.S. grape shipments is forecast to rebound back to near the 2013-14 record, rising 60,000 tons to 1 million tons, as vineyards recover from previous years’ adverse growing conditions.  Exports are forecast up 37,000 tons to 365,000 on higher production and improved shipments to Asian markets.  Imports are slated to rise 15,000 tons to 545,000 as consumption continues to grow and as domestic supplies are augmented by higher deliveries from Chile.

Chile’s production is forecast up 42,000 tons to 910,000 on abundant chill hours, warm spring temperatures, and good water supplies.  Exports are expected to parallel production, rising 42,000 tons to 730,000 on higher shipments to top markets U.S. and China.

Peru’s production is anticipated to increase by 65,000 tons to 605,000 on higher yields in maturing vineyards and as new plantings come into production.  Exports, averaging 60% of production the last 3 years, are forecast to improve to 370,000 tons as greater exportable supplies lead to higher shipments to the European Union and the U.S. Continued export growth sustains Peru’s position as the world’s second-largest exporter after Chile.

China’s production is forecast to jump 600,000 tons to 10.2 million on yields from higher growing area.  Exports are anticipated to surge over 50% to 350,000 tons, as increased supplies and lower prices boost shipments to Asian markets, especially Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Imports are projected to maintain an upward trend, rising 20% to 300,000 tons, as strong demand continues to drive shipments from top suppliers Chile, Peru and the U.S.

Turkey’s production is forecast to rebound from last year’s frost-affected crop, rising 345,000 tons to 2.4 million. Russia continues its ban on Turkish table grapes; yet, exports are expected to rise 50,000 tons to 225,000 on rejuvenated supplies and higher shipments to Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia.

EU’s production is expected to slip 61,000 tons to 1.7 million, as decreasing acreage has been exacerbated by adverse weather in top producers Italy and Greece. Exports are forecast to contract slightly to 84,000 tons as production losses are reflected in lower shipments to Belarus and Norway. Imports are forecast flat at 610,000 tons.

Russia’s production is forecast to rise slightly to 103,000 tons as higher yields offset declining acreage. Imports are projected to decline further, dropping 25,000 tons to 230,000 as Russia continues to ban table grapes from top supplier Turkey.

Argentina’s production will drop 20,000 tons to 40,000, as a late frost damaged vineyards and high costs drove growers to raise wine and raisin grapes. Exports are expected to continue their downward trend, cut 3,000 tons to 8,000, and down sharply — nearly 90% — since their peak in 2006-07.

California grape shipments – grossing about $4400 to Chicago.


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Outlook for Domestic Fruit Shipments are Good

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DSCN7161Total domestic apple and grape shipments are expected to be up this season, while a drop in pear and peach loadings is seen.  California raspberry loads also are lagging.

Apple, Pear, Peach Shipments

U.S. apple and grape shipments are expected to increase in 2016, while pear and peach volume will decline, according to a USDA report.

About 10.4 billion pounds of apples will be produced in the U.S. this season.  The Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook from the USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the 2016 apple crop is on track to be 4 percent larger than last year’s crop and the fourth-largest since 2000.

California grape shipments are expected to hit 15.6 billion pounds in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015.  The increase comes despite persistent drought in California, the top producing state.

The number of pear shipments in the U.S. this season, however, is predicted to fall 5 percent, with about 1.56 billion pounds being shipped.  That would be the lowest U.S. total in more than 20 years.  The top three states for pear shipments, Washington, Oregon and California, are expected to be down between 2 and 4 percent.

U.S. peach loadings also will be down this season with a total of 1.61 billion pounds  That would be 5 percent below last year, and it would be the seventh consecutive year U.S. peach volumes have declined.

Washington’s Yakima Valley apples and pears – grossing about $6200 to Boston.

California’s San Joaquin Valley table grapes – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

California Raspberry Shipments

California raspberry shipments so far this season has been about 122 million pounds shipped, down from 143 million pounds.  Around 4.1 million pounds of raspberries were shipped in the U.S. during the week ending October 1, off from 5.3 million pounds last year at the same time and 4.5 million pounds the previous week.

California’s Watsonville district strawberries, raspberries – grossing about $4100 to Dallas.

California’s Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $6300 to New York City.



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San Joaquin Valley Grapes May Set Record

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DSCN7037California table grape shipments could be on track to match the record volume of 2013.

Loadings are currently forecast to hit 117.4 million 19-pound box equivalents. This would equal the amount shipped three years ago and outstrip last year’s 109.6 million.  A final estimate is due in late July,

Many of the newer grape varieties are yielding anywhere from 1,400 to 2,200 boxes more per acre or better.  Couple that with a lot of new plantings and there will be increasing shipments out of California for the next three or four years.  A lot of it has been transitioned out of older varieties like crimsons. Growers pulled them out and replanted.

Grape shipments will get underway this coming week from the  southern San Joaquin Valley and continue into November.

The Coachella Valley always kicks off California Grape shipments around May 1st.  Early reports of reduced volumes in the desert may have been exaggerated.  Coachella is now winding down grape shipments as the San Joaquin Valley is getting started.

Meanwhile Mexican grape shipments are also declining.  Red grapes have finished and white grapes (Sugraones) are on their final leg.

In essence all San Joaquin Valley districts will be picking within about 10 days of each other.  This includes McFarland and Delano coming on July 1st.

One major grape shipper, Crown Jewels Produce, say it will upwards of 1 million boxes out of the valley from Bakersfield to Madera this season.

The company started with a few flames out of Arvin around June 21.   Then it will have grapes out of Fresno County just south of Fresno, June 28.

Crown Jewels then will have some summer royal black grapes in the first week of July.   These will be followed by Thompson green grapes, as well as some princess grapes in mid- to late-July.   August, September and October should be big months for California grape shipments.

Coachella Valley grapes – grossing about $4900 to Chicago.

Kern County carrots, potatoes, – grossing about $3800 to Dallas.


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CA Shipping Update: Desert Grapes and Onions, SJV Prunes

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DSCN7307Here’s shipping updates for California relating to Coachella Valley grapes, Imperial Valley onions and prunes from the San Joaquin Valley.

Grape Shipments

In the desert of the Coachella Valley, table grape shipments are a big deal for about six weeks every year.  The late timing of Memorial Day (May 30) will mean added loading opportunities for produce haulers due to demand leading up to this holiday.  Though Coachella grapes are a bit earlier this year, it still will be around May 10th before good volume occurs.  That means the weeks of May 16th and 23rd there will be heavy shipments.

For the Coachella Valley, the months of July, August and September, daytime temperatures can easily top 110 degrees and approach 120, making this region inhospitable to field-grown crops.  But other times of the year grapes, watermelon, sweet corn, Bell peppers and grapefruit are just a few of the crops that are shipped, especially in the spring and fall.  The Coachella Valley is located about 130 miles southeast of Los Angeles and only a few miles from Palm Springs.

Changing weather patterns for the last few years have meant an April start for grapes, which some are calling the effects of global warming and others are saying is merely a few-year anomaly from normal patterns.  For whatever reasons, this year saw grapes being harvested in April once again, as they were in 2014 and 2015.

Imperial Valley Onion Shipments

Onion shipments are now in full swing in the Imperial Valley of southern California.  These shipments from the desert occur during April and May, after which the season is continued in Fresno from June until September.

Prune Shipments
Storms hit Northern California in March damaging this year’s prune crop.  The result of potential damages may result in prune shipments being reduced this season by 75 percent.
Prune loadings have declined in recent years while struggling to compete with the high prices commanded by walnut and almond crops.  Growers have ripped out prune orchards to plant nut crops, causing the amount of prune acreage in California to shrink from 67,000 acres in 2005 to 44,000 acres in 2015.
Southern California fruits and vegetables – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

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