A new charity has been launched to get fresh fruit and vegetables to Kiwis in need.
The joint venture, which aims to meet the increasing global demand for quality Peruvian table grapes, will see planting begin towards the end of the year - and the first commercial volumes harvested in late 2015.
Alastair Hulbert, chief executive of Turners & Growers, said the joint venture with Unifrutti is the result of extensive research and collaboration between the two companies, which have both been looking at ways to satisfy the global increase in demand for table grapes, and co-operate in a region that both have identified as having immense potential in the long term.
"The partnership with Unifrutti makes a lot of sense," says Hulbert. "They have significant experience in the development of vineyards and infrastructure in South America and have superior new table grape varieties within their portfolio. We currently enjoy an excellent commercial relationship with Unifrutti Chile, and we are extremely pleased to be developing a Joint Venture with a company of such high calibre in the South American region.
"This joint venture is another example of our new strategy in action. We are focusing on grapes as one of our key categories and building partnerships to expand our pipfruit and other key products internationally. With this investment, we're becoming more vertically integrated in Table Grapes which we believe to be key to securing a strong position in the category, whilst expanding on the solid supply base we have already established with our Peruvian grower partners."
Turners & Growers, through its subsidiary Delica, have developed a successful and extensive global table grape trading business, linking markets and customers for over 10 years with grape supply from around the world.
Unifrutti is a strong and established Chilean-based fresh fruit growing, packing and exporting company with a long history of table grape production, excellent brand recognition and a focus on new variety development through its nursery operation Univiveros. This partnership enables both parties to leverage off of each other's strengths.
Jorge Massanes, executive vice president of Unifrutti Chile says: "We are very excited with this joint venture. Investing in Peru is something that has been one of our priorities and finding the right partner was the challenge.
"Our commercial relationship with Delica and their top management, plus their experience in Peru, made Turners & Growers the perfect partner. Table grapes are one of our key products and through this partnership we will be able to better serve our clients by expanding our shipping season."
In Chile, Unifrutti is among the largest fresh fruit growers and exporters and is owned by the De Nadai International Group. Unifrutti Group has farming operations in Philippines, South Africa and Chile, combined with an extensive global distribution and sales network.