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New grape varieties in the pipeline at Sun World

Sun World has been in the fruit and vegetable industry since 1976. Beginning as a packer and marketer, but expanded operations as consumer appetite for fresher, better tasting produce rose in the 80's. Today, Sun World is a well known grower, marketer and breeder of premium varieties with a full line of seedless grapes, sweet peppers, stone fruit and other distinctive fruits and vegetables.

Dirk Burger, Regional Licensing Manager at Sun World South Africa, describes the main grape varieties grown in South Africa by assorted licensed producers and sold through one of five licensed marketers. Sun World marketers include Capespan Pty Ltd., The Grape Co., Dole South Africa, Green Marketing Pty, Ltd., and a joint venture between Suiderland Plase/New Vision.

"SUPERIOR SEEDLESS® (Sugraone), is an early white seedless variety grown on 1,500 ha. This is the biggest variety of which our Licensed Marketers exported 4.8 million cartons last year (4.5kg). Next is the MIDNIGHT BEAUTY® (Sugrathirteen), a premium early-ripening black seedless variety grown in different areas throughout the country to ensure a maximum season length." Burger explains that exports to the Far East market have been increasing in the last couple of years. Last season 40% of MIDNIGHT BEAUTY® exports went to the Far East, 30% to the EU and 27% to the UK.

Two other varieties currently exported by Sun World’s Licensed Marketers SABLE SEEDLESS® (Sugrasixteen) and SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS® (Sugranineteen) which were introduced to South Africa over the course of the last 8-10 years. SABLE SEEDLESS is a mid season black seedless grape with a tropical taste which is particularly appreciated in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and elsewhere on the European Continent where flavor remains a top priority. SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS®, a late red seedless variety, is the newest commercial variety from Sun World. These varieties are mainly sent to the EU and UK markets and, while only a small percentage go to the Far East, it is expected to be a main destination for this large-berried variety in the coming years.

There are also a few new varieties in development at Sun World.

Sugrathirtyfour is a late black seedless variety with natural big round berries of 25 mm, removing the need for plant growth regulators, it also colours naturally. Burger says it has an excellent market potential in the Far East due to berry size.

Sugrathirtyfive, trade name AUTUMNCRISP®, a late white seedless grape also has a good natural berry size of 24 mm and a slight muscat muscat taste. "This variety is very labour friendly and stores very well, it is destined for the EU, Far East and UK markets."

Sugrathirtyeight a mid-late red seedless should fill the gap between Flame and Crimson according to Burger. This variety will be aimed at EU, UK and Far East markets.

Burger explains that there is a market for these varieties. "The Sugrathirtyfive has market potential despite competition from other breeders. We believe that the qualities such as no browning and resistance against bruising are hard to achieve and will make the Sugrathirtyfive a popular addition to the white seedless varieties. The Sugrathirtyfour is a unique variety and is different to other late black seedless grapes on the market at present as they do not have the same size capabilities."

For more information:
Dirk Burger
Tel: +27 21 870 1355

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