Namibian grapes hit European shelves

Chamwe Kaira

Grapes from Aussenkehr in Namibia are on the shelves of all the major supermarkets in the United Kingdom including M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons, this is according to Gary Vaughan-Smith, Chief Investment Officer at SilverStreet Capital LLP, which produces table grapes in southern Namibia.

“Grapes from Aussenkehr in Namibia are on the shelves of all the major supermarkets in the UK including M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons,” said Vaughan-Smith.

Earlier, Vaughan-Smith had announced that the firm had completed the table grape harvest on its Namibian farms. The harvesting team of 900 people packed 2.4 million cartons over eight weeks.

The arrival of spring on the Namibian table grape farms saw eaves are forming a canopy again.

“El Nino has brought some cloud cover, very unusual at any time of year. It has also brought storms in California which have severely impacted grape production there, much of the Peruvian and Brazilian crop is expected to be diverted from Europe to North America and we are seeing very high European demand for our crop in the coming November and December harvest.”

Namibia’s grape production for the 2023/2024 has been estimated at 9,1 million cartons of 4,5kg each.

In an earlier development, an early season experiment by South African logistics operator GoGlobal, in association with shipping line MSC, to ship Namibian and South African grapes through the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia was described as a success.

Around 70 containers were loaded in the port and were destined for UK and Europe next week.

“MCS has agreed to include Walvis Bay in their schedule to replace Cape Town,” said Delena Engelbrecht, CEO of GoGlobal. “With their call at the port of Ngura along the South African Eastern coast, it allows us two opportunities to load on a weekly basis. The first loading at Walvis Bay went extremely well and there were no delays.”

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