What was the market situation?
Though normally a subtropical crop, grapes are also grown in India under tropical conditions – with excellent results. Thanks to a special grape cultivation system in India, productivity is relatively high. Maharashtra is India’s leading state in the production of grapes, and the Nasik and Sangli districts of this state lead in grape cultivation and production. Table grape exports to Europe have always been challenging, not only for growers but also for the Indian exporters involved, because of the increasingly strict requirements demanded by European supermarkets. Greenyard, a worldwide supplier of fresh produce, also procures table grapes from India through their associated Indian exporters, Shree Consultants and Indyglobal Ventures. As a leading grape exporter, Shree Consultants works to monitor and improve the quality of table grapes and support farmers in their efforts to supply major retail chains in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. Indyglobal Ventures is one of the major exporters of fresh grapes and pomegranates to supermarkets in the UK and Continental Europe. To satisfy the strict quality requirements in European markets, Bayer and Greenyard decided to work together in India to promote the sustainable production of high-quality grapes.
Sachin Walnuj (striped T-shirt), Sayhadri farms and German Ponce (right next to him), Sourcing & Sales Grapes, Greenyard
What were the challenges?
The aim of this Food Chain Partnership initiative was to develop and implement an effective production solution to improve the yield and quality of the table grapes. This was to be achieved by several means: managing residue levels to comply with the specifications of various European supermarkets while not compromising on crop quality, implementing good agricultural practices, and adhering to the principles of sustainable agriculture. Downy mildew, jassids, and thrips were the major issues facing Indian grape growers.