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Carolina Cruz Tackles Climate Change and Improving Growing Table Grapes in Chile

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Women in Agriculture

Animation Source: Wix

Carolina Cruz, president of the Research Commission for Development of Table Grapes in Chile has tackled some serious problems that affect the industry over the last several years. She believes that women will contribute to the success of agriculture due to their respect for nature and people.

In the last 10 years Chile has suffered from drought that affected growing grapes. They have had out of season rainstorms, heat waves, and frost that has damaged the crops they grow and export. Another problem was a lack of cargo workers on boats that load and unload products and transport the crops in a timely manner to their customers. This led to wasted products and rotting grapes.

Chile once considered one of the biggest exporters of tables grapes had a very bad season in 2021-2022. The United States no longer wanted medium caliber grapes like Thompson and Crimson the traditional varieties that make up a large part of what they grow. This has led the farmers and growers to look for new varieties to grow in their changing climate and market.

In 2023 about 50 percent of the grapes grown in Chile will be new varieties to promote better competition. There will be new varieties of red, white, and black grapes. New red grape varieties grown will be Timco and Allison. The new white grape varieties grown are Arra, Sweet Globe, and Autumn Crisp. A new variety of black grapes are Caballero.

Chile has recently experienced floods and wildfires that have led to damage to the bee colonies that pollinate the fruit the grow. This has affected growing grapes as well as other fruits. Competition with Peru has led them to losing their number one position as exporter of grapes instead of Chile.

Carolina Cruz and other commission members have looked into other business models around the world to find a sustainable growing and management system. Decisions have to be based on studying the data collected and using technology says Carolina Cruz.

The positive news is that Chile is growing several new varieties of grapes this year and planning to export them. Carolina Cruz continues to work on improving Chile's grape growing business and make it more competitive. New methods and crops are part of the plan.

Photo Source: Wix Media

Reference Sources:

The Grape Report

Fresh Fruit Portal

Why Is Chile No Longer the Main Exporter of Table Grapes? News Beezer, June 19, 2023

Women in Agriculture Industry Today: Perspectives from Around the World: Fresh Fruit Portal March 2021

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