Vanguard International Group has opened a new table grape packhouse at it Challapampa operation in Ica, Peru. The facility houses state-of-the-art cooling and cold chain control and can handle a wide range of packing styles and types, allowing the company to serve its retail, wholesale, foodservice and online customers in over 25 countries.
Vanguard acquired Challapampa, one of Peru’s leading grape, citrus and pomegranate producers, in 2016 as part of its global strategy to become more vertically integrated with a focus on year-round supply. The company grows and packs grapes under the Vanguard Fresh and Pampa Fresh labels for the global market.
“We are thrilled to see this year’s crop moving into the market out of our brand-new facility,” said Craig Stauffer, Vanguard International CEO.
“Since the acquisition of Vanguard Challapampa in April 2016, we’ve seen some exciting growth on our farms in terms of new grape varieties and the completion of our packhouse is the next step in our vertical-integration strategy to get the amazing fruit from this region to market.”
Vanguard Challapampa hopes to double its shipment volume this season. The company’s grape portfolio covers a range patented seedless green, red and black varieties, including, from this season, seven new premium varieties: Sweet Celebration, Jack’s Salute, Ivory, Sweet Globe, Sugar Crisp, Sweet Favors, and Sweet Sapphire with this year’s shipment volume doubling last years.
One of the benefits of the new facility is that it can pre-condition the grapes in the packhouse as opposed to out in the field, allowing the team to get the grapes out of the field heat and into a controlled environment quickly as well as a more efficient and humidity-controlled pre-conditioning and first stage packing process all with state-of-the-art cold chain management.
“The ‘best in class’ pre–cooling at the new facility is designed to provide the optimal time, temperature, and humidity to cool the fruit,” said Manuel Yzaga, president of Vanguard Peru. “The result will be crisper berries, greener stems, and a longer shelf life.”
The selling and marketing of grapes out of Vanguard Challapampa will be handled by Vanguard Direct, which represents the Vanguard International Group in North America, selling and marketing table grapes and other products from around the world, and to the rest of the world by Vanguard International.