There will be promotable volume of organic grapes into November, but then there could be a bit of a gap late in the year and into 2023, according to sales leaders at various grape operations in California.
“Welcome to fall,” said John Harley of Anthony Vineyards, a couple days after the official start of the season on September 22. “We have about 25 percent of our volume [of California organic grapes] yet to go. And we should be harvesting through the second week of November with enough volume to take us through the Thanksgiving pull.”
John Harley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Anthony Vineyards
The timing of the grape harvest this year is typical as Anthony Vineyards, headquartered in Bakersfield, CA, usually finishes in late November or early December. “There are opportunities for promotion in October, but I do expect to see some price increases as the organic volume drops off and we pace our shipments to last until the end of the season,” Harley said.
There will be steady supplies of both green and black varieties, though organic black grapes will not last as long. “We’ve had a good season,” Harley said. “The pull has been consistent throughout the season with pretty good pricing. We did have some early rain [in the San Joaquin Valley] that affected yields a bit—but not too much.”
In late September, the FOB price on organic grapes was in the $25 to $27 range, with signs pointing to it being pushed up a couple of dollars in early October. “We will have a gap before our organic grapes from Peru get started,” the Anthony’s Vineyard executive said, noting that this is the company’s fourth year in the program, and it is still building its supplier base. “We look to be on target to start the first week of December with light volume.”
“There are opportunities for promotion in October, but I do expect to see some price increases as the organic volume drops off and we pace our shipments to last until the end of the season.” - John Harley
Craig Morris, grape category manager for Homegrown Organic Farms in Porterville, CA, told OPN Connect this week that “we have about a month to go, with our volume equally split between red and green grapes. I think the market will strengthen as we move through October.”
Craig Morris, Grape Category Manager, Homegrown Organic Farms
The Homegrown veteran characterized this year as a good one, noting that grape flavor has been excellent and movement has been good all season long. Rising costs across the board, however, made it more difficult for growers. “The FOB averaged $2 more per box than last year. That was helpful, but it didn’t cover all the costs,” he said.
“We have about a month to go, with our volume equally split between red and green grapes. I think the market will strengthen as we move through October.” - Craig Morris
Ethan Abendroth, senior buyer for Earl’s Organic Produce on the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, said he is seeing excellent volume of organic grapes from multiple California suppliers. “We should be able to offer plentiful supplies of black, green, and red varieties until at least Thanksgiving.”