Indian grape growers are hoping to persuade UK supermarket buyers to sell Sonaka - a seedless green elongated variety - alongside the traditional Thompson Seedless.
Sunil Borade, export advisor to the Maharashtra state agricultural marketing board, said the grape’s appeal was its higher sugar content and superior taste. He said an Indian national packhouse licensing scheme, which lays down standards of quality and hygiene, was helping to drive exports forward.
Borade said Thompson Seedless shipments in 2005 would be “substantially higher” than the 1,000 tonnes of grapes sent to Europe last year, of which the UK took some 40%. India fits into a six-week market between the South African and Chilean seasons.