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South Africa promotes stone fruit to boost nectarine production

South African growers are increasing plantings of nectarines on the back of rising demand and better financial returns at grower level

Young nectarine orchards that were planted in the last few years are now coming into production, with new higher-yielding varieties further boosting volumes and the use of netting leading to higher pack outs. These developments occur during a period of improved profitability for growers, alongside increased demand for nectarines, both locally and on the international markets.

Hortgro reports promising prospects for the upcoming season across all commodities, except for apricots. This is at the back of excellent winter rainfall and good conditions for stone fruit production, with the climate and abundant sunshine also bringing exceptional taste and colour. Growers are highly skilled in managing the abundance of stone fruit varieties as the season progresses, meaning buyers can be assured as to the quality. 

“Planting of new cultivars is a very calculated process, in terms of timing, quality, consistency and continuity,” explained Jacques du Preez, general manager of trade and market at Hortgro. “We strive to supply consistently great-quality fruit over as long a period as possible, and local evaluation and adaptability trials are crucial in this process.”

Although South African fruit supplies have been affected by well-documented issues at ports, Du Preez said the industry is working hard to find long-term solutions. This season’s crop will be promoted in the UK through a consumer campaign featuring a wide range of in-store activity, social media and influencer collaboration, as well as recipes and a competition to win a holiday to South Africa. A trade-focused strand of the campaign focuses on restoring industry confidence in South Africa as a key primary source.

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