South African Sharon Fruit harvest equal to last season

Sharon Fruit (kaki fruit) volumes from the Southern Cape are expected to be on par with last year’s harvest. Initially an increase was expected from this year’s harvest but smaller sizing and the effect of hail during the growing season on some farms in Greyton have reduced prospects.
“The season started two weeks late because of the cool early summer,” says Hein Smal, of Sharon Fruit South Africa. ”We’re happy with the fruit quality, although disappointed that the early prospects are not being realised. We have a need for bigger fruit. Normally the early fruit, coming from Swellendam and Bonnievale, are smaller sizes. Some producers in the Swellendam area are already finishing up their harvest.”
The areas of the Southern Cape where Sharon Fruit are grown have been spared the severities of the drought which is felt more acutely westwards and northwards in the province.
“More larger sizes of Sharon Fruit will be welcomed by South African consumers where the fruit’s popularity is growing thanks to promotions among buyers at municipal markets and at supermarkets. Around 80% of production is destined for exports and of that amount, Germany takes 55% to 58%, which is counterseasonal to Spanish supply.”
André Leonard of the RSA Group with Robbie De Aveiro and Claudio De Aveiro at the recent Sharon Fruit promotion at the Tshwane municipal market
South African Sharon Fruit go to many of South Africa’s traditional markets: the EU and the UK, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, USA. Hein singles out the Kenyan market, which is not a large market but a very good one, driven by the tourism sector. Other African markets, like South Africa’s neighbouring countries, are supplied with Sharon Fruit through South African retailers’ African footprint.
During 2016, a year when all climatic conditions came together perfectly, MOR was able to supply the domestic market with 1,100 tonnes. It’s estimated that figure will be approximately 600 tonnes this year.
Arisa packhouse in Buffeljagsrivier handles Sharon Fruit from around Easter until mid-June, giving them a two month break before they start with avocados which they pack for Westfalia in the Southern Cape, a region that has experienced exponential growth in avocado plantings over the past four years. Avocados overlap with early plums from the Swellendam area for a bit in their packhouse. The plums are packed on the same packline as Sharon Fruit since both bruise easily.
For more information:
Hein Smal
Sharon Fruit South Africa
Tel: +27 28 512 3500

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