South African stone fruit 2020/21 season is expected to improve on all fronts

plums 2724160 640Promotional activity for the South African stone fruit industry in the United Kingdom is underway, and growers are optimistic about the coming season

The 2019/20 season brought with it many challenges caused by difficult weather conditions and a coronavirus pandemic. This season, however, is set to see improvements in all aspects: this year’s weather has been advantageous for fruit crops, and ports have returned to a more normal operating status.

Hortgro, an organisation representing the South African stone fruit industries, will continue to develop the categories of plum, peach and nectarine in the United Kingdom through its integrated marketing initiative, which has been in place for 12 years.

Jacques du Preez, general management of trade and markets at Hortgro, said, “The stone fruit forecast and overall estimate volumes are looking much better compared to the same time last year. For plums, in particular, the favourable weather conditions have definitely had a positive impact on fruit set for this coming season, and we are optimistic about the harvest.”

The initial export crop is projected to increase volumes compared to the previous season. Plum growers predict a large increase of 22% to 10.8 million cartons compared to last season. Nectarines are expected to increase from five million cartons last year to almost 5.6 million cartons (2.5 kg). Peaches can expect a 5% increase to 2.1 million cartons. Increased volumes are mainly driven by young orchards entering production and more favourable weather conditions.

Collaboration with retailers will be one of the main focus of this year’s campaign, which will feature in-store promotions, advertising and publishing, both online and in-retail magazines, alongside social media activities.

The Stone Fruit Campaign will be supported by other trade and consumer-focused activities, including new recipe design and photography, editorial and advertising, and social media.

“The South African stone fruit growers, packers and exporters remain committed to supplying consumers with excellent quality and great tasting products. The industry is confident that the logistical challenges experienced during the past year due to Covid-19 is something of the past and is looking forward to a great season,” Preez added.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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