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New South African bred red seedless table grape launched at Fruit Logistica
New grape variety "brings music to your ears"Last week at Fruit Logistica in Berlin a new seedless red table grape variety was released. Joybells will be ready for harvest a week to 10 days before the Flame variety. It is high yield grape with a good tolerance to cracking. It also travels well and has good storage.
"Undoubtedly one of the most promising table grape varieties to emerge from South Africa," said Dr Bongandi Ndimba from ARC.
Joybells was developed from an open-pollinated variety, bred by SA breeder, Phyllis Burger of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, based in Stellenbosch. As the name suggests, ‘Joybells’ was inspired by the unique bell-shaped appearance of the fruit, as well as the remarkable taste and texture.
Excellent reviews have been received from prominent global retailers, who already sold commercial shipments of Joybells as a premium variety over the past two South African table grape seasons. Their customers are coming back to buy more of this variety.
Dr Leon von Mollendorff, General Manager of Culdevco, says information and plant material have been gradually released to the industry to ensure that a proper evaluation of the variety was done across the value chain, over a number of years.
“The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, with commercialisation facilitated by Culdevco, are working hand in hand to develop unique table grape cultivars to be made available to the South African industry at affordable prices and fees.”
SATI’s Willem Bestbier says that the unique benefits the South African table grape industry brings to the highly competitive international trade are profitability and well-adapted cultivars. “We firmly believe that our competitive edge in the market is technology-driven and there is nothing better than a home-made success story, this time in the form of an exciting new grape variety.”
Over the past two seasons over 50 000 cartons (4,5 kg per carton) of Joybells have been sold across Europe and the UK, while producers and exporters are expanding sales of this exciting new variety to other world markets during the current 2017/18 season. According to statistics, close to 200 hectares of the variety have already been planted across South Africa. Dr Von Mollendorff says that from this year, plant material is adequately available to South African producers, thus expecting plantings to expand fairly quickly.
Joybells is commercialised and administered in South Africa by Culdevco – a major player in the international arena of deciduous fruit licensing. This prized variety is currently exported by 12 South African export companies.
Dr Leon Von Mollendorff
Tel: +27 21 870 2900
Dr Bongani Ndimba
Tel: +27 21 809 3100
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