The new red blush pear variety is currently being grown on 350 hectares in the Western Cape. "At the moment around 100 ha are already in commercial production," explains Dr. Leon von Mollendorff, General Manager at Culdevco. "The Cheeky volumes will of course increase as the young plants come of age."
He describes the Cheeky pear as an early blush variety, "South Africa is one of the countries exporting the biggest volumes of blush pear varieties. Some of the unique characteristics about Cheeky® are:
- It ripens about 3 weeks earlier than Forelle (the other major blush pear from South Africa)
- The red colour is so intense that it even retains the blush during the heat waves we usually encounter during January and February.
- It is also a large fruit and desired by most markets
- The taste of Cheeky® is unique with strong pear flavours.
For the last two years the commercial volumes have been mainly sent to the European markets where it has proved very popular with consumers. A small volume has gone to Far East markets.
According to von Mollendorff, it is also profitable for the growers with good yields and packouts, "Export volumes of Cheeky® from South Africa will certainly continue to grow for the foreseeable future."
Trials with Cheeky® have already started throughout Europe, but it is still early days as far as results are concern.
For more information:
Dr Leon J von Mollendorff
Tel: +27 21 870 2900