November 10, 2023

Table Grape Symposium to Unite Leaders and Innovators in Somerset West

Table Grape Symposium

The 10th International Table Grape Symposium taking place in Cape Town this November will bring together global industry leaders to discuss the latest scientific research and commercial factors impacting the global table grape industry.

South Africa is ready to welcome delegates from around the world to this prestigious event that promises to deliver cutting-edge research and innovative solutions for the global table grape industry. This year, for the first time, panel discussions with a commercial focus have been added to the symposium programme in response to the increasingly dynamic factors impacting the sector.

Prof. David Hughes will be the keynote speaker and deliver the opening address. Dubbed ‘Doctor Food’, Hughes is highly regarded around the globe as an authority on fresh produce consumer and retail trends. His presentation will focus on the impacts of recent global events on consumers’ buying patterns and why there is still room in the market for premium products.

“Income-stretched consumers have changed their shopping behaviours and in many markets fruit and vegetable sales are under pressure. Yet, there is ample evidence of continued strong demand for premium produce,” he says.

The programme also features informative sessions with other world-renowned scientists and researchers, including Prof. Gerhard Pietersen, Senior Researcher at PathoSolutions, Dr Carlos Poblete-Echeverria, Scientific Researcher at Universidad de La Rioja Spain and Dr Juan Pablo Zoffoli, Research Director at Universidad Católica Chile. Access the complete list of keynote speakers here.

Over the course of four days delegates can look forward to presentations across five key themes, among them Postharvest Physiology, Maintenance of Grape Quality and Environmental Sustainability. They promise to deliver cutting-edge science, and innovative approaches to factors impacting the global sector.

Commercially focused panel discussions will take place on three of the four days, covering topics aligned with global industry themes. Discussions will focus on prompting pro-active approaches to some of the challenges the table grape industry faces.

Panel one will focus on the global table grape landscape and discuss constraints faced by the leading table grape supply countries. Chaired by Oscar Salgado, global table grape expert at Ingenuity-Tech, Fruits & Partners and Proteku.

Panel two will explore the interplay between marketing and global import decisions. Chaired by Rupert Maude, global table grape consultant based in Spain.

Panel three will explore the global logistics landscape and the disruptions that impacted the industry in recent years. Discussions will focus on mitigating strategies applicable to producers, commercial players and governments – such as privatising port operations, stimulating competition and using data to inform decisions. Chaired by AJ Griesel, SATI CEO.

The programme includes a field tour and optional post-symposium tour to a table grape growing region during harvest time.

“This event promises to be exciting and present discussions that will be relevant to table grape growers around the world. We have been overwhelmed with a positive response – from both sponsors and delegates – and look forward to hosting the global table grape community in South Africa,” says Schalk Reynolds, chairperson of the 10 ITGS Local Organising Committee.

The 10th International Table Grape Symposium will be jointly hosted by the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture (SASEV) and the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI), in the country’s Western Cape region from 26 November to 1 December at the Lord Charles Hotel, in Somerset West.