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Mexico: Focus on hothouse mini sweet peppers, organic grape tomatoes

Despite recent earthquakes and with many operations in several states in Mexico, Group Alta has maintained steady production in its hothouses, located in Baja, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco. “All of our employees are accounted for,” says Carlos Bon, Fruit Category Manager. 

High brix grape tomatoes
Main production is currently on sweet mini peppers, organic grape tomatoes, organic tomatoes on the vine, collared bell peppers and cucumbers. Their big focus, which will be brought to attention at the upcoming PMA show, is on the mini sweet peppers and the organic grape tomatoes. Bon says the grape tomatoes have the highest brix of any other on the market. “The brix level is substantially sweeter,” he says. “We’re averaging over 11 brix sugar content on the grape tomatoes which is outstanding. The average grape tomato in the market has around 9/9.5 and those are the good ones.” The grape tomatoes from the hothouse in Baja have averaged up to 11.25 brix. 

Acreage growth
In the last year they’ve had substantial growth acreage-wise. “One of the main reasons is because of the variety of the grape tomatoes that we have and the success it’s had with customers who have partnered with us,” explains Bon. “They’re interested in us growing that particular item pushed us to increase our acreage. We increased on the grape tomatoes about 1/3 more than what we used to have.”

Increasing category
Bon sees this quickly becoming their #3 category item for the company. It’s currently their fifth largest commodity. “Table grapes are still our bread and butter. Funny enough it’s our shortest season,” says Bon. They’ve planted in two other Mexican states to be able to extend the season from two and a half months to seven and a half months. “We’re the first company to have table grapes planted in three different states in Mexico. The new fruit will be available 2019.

Divine Flavor is in its second partnership year with growers in Chile on a winter grape deal. “We expect a bump in volume with 50 per cent more,” he said. 

For more information:
Carlos Bon 
Divine Flavor 
Ph: 619-616-7411 

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