As mentioned by @bheeshma, these certifications are available for other exporters as well.
Please note that, grapes are produced by association of farmers in India, primarily in Nashik, Sangli and Pune. The normal size of association is 500-1000 farmers. One of the major requirement for export to Europe and other countries is to have grapes which are “Pesticide Residue Free” and also farmers following “Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)”.
The way farmers adopt to this is as follows ->
Some big farmer in area (with capital) experiments with the requirements - residue free, new varieties, crop ahead of time, covering grape farms with material that regulates sunlight etc. This farmer also has second role of being an exporter or having some linkages with export houses. News of new things travels along with the tale of money made. After 2-3 years, majority of farmers adopt these new techniques. This is unlike corporate farming where one can continuously build competitive advantage.
So you can imagine that any one of the well-doing farmer can start collecting grapes from other members of farmer association, work with export houses in first few years and start exporting grapes. He will have to offer higher price to farmers and lower price to export houses in first few years but they will start.
On the buy side of things also, there are several players who are into import of grapes. Since there is relatively no difference in the quality of supplied grapes, it is a blessing for them when a new player emerges as he offers lower prices. The contacts get quickly developed and export starts. This process continues to happen on every bull phase of grapes export.
The real competitive advantages in this business are following - trusted farmer’s network and reliable importers/buyers.
Freshtrop is actually relatively weak on the procurement side and usually offer more price than the local exporter guys. They have been working on reducing the procurement prices but still there is some way to go. Following two players procure grapes at lower rates compared to Freshtrop and has committed supply of 250+ farmers, you can go through their websites below ->
Where Freshtrop really has competitive advantage is on the sell side. They have customers who can sell grapes at higher price than other customers. They also have removed a lot of middlemen and deal directly with superstore chains. They have been consistently supplying these grapes to these customers and hence also have Fixed price contracts as I have mentioned before.
Apart from quality, other major issue as to why share of India is not increasing in exports is varieties. India exports mostly Thompson seedless grapes. There have been some efforts by players to introduce new varieties but they are yet to bear fruit.
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