Earlier this year South African companies TopFruit and Delecta Fruit presented their new Cape Fire™ pear, a late Forelle mutation with superlative packouts because of its stable and dark maroon colour.
The entirety of the first commercial harvest has this season been sold through German supermarket Edeka Rhein-Ruhr where it didn’t disappoint.
“When I review the whole Forelle season and average the retail price then there is a premium for Cape Fire™ at approximately 40% to 50%,” notes Malte Wegener of Wegener Frucht in Germany. “Everyone who likes Forelle will be absolutely amazed by Cape Fire™.”
The pears were sold for five to six weeks at Edeka, during which period customer feedback was positive regarding the taste, crunchiness, shelf life and, of course, the colour.
Cape Fire™ pears (right) as compared to Forelle (left)
“We would’ve liked to have had more volumes this season but in future many young trees will be coming into production and as the trees mature, the quality becomes increasingly stable,” says Gert Marais, category manager of topfruit at Delecta Fruit. “However, we don’t want to scatter volumes across the entire market. There are specific quality requirements attached to the cultivar and to ensure homogeneity we’re strictly controlling the cultivation, packing and marketing. We want to create a uniqueness to Cape Fire™.”
“The packout percentage in terms of colour is higher than with Forelle. Cape Fire™ packs out more red fruit and fewer green than Forelle,” he continues. “In terms of colour, 80% or 90% is easily obtainable, compared with 50 to 60% with Forelle and 30% Vermont Beaut in the Warm Bokkeveld area [of the Western Cape]. With Cape Fire™, you can reduce the percentage of Vermont Beaut on the tree and get more class 1 cartons per hectare. Vermont Beaut is the green Forelle sometimes found on the inside of the tree, but if you look at Cape Fire™ orchards you’d be hard pressed to find any green pears. Forelle loses colour in this area during high temperatures towards the end of the season but Cape Fire™ handles the heat very well.”
“Because the German market prefers fruit with a crispy texture, Cape Fire™ will be more popular in this market. The impressive colour will also appeal to the Far Eastern and Middle Eastern markets. As volumes become more available during coming seasons, new markets will get more exposure according to specific marketing plans.”
He continues that there has been interest in the pear from Vietnam, India, Hong Kong and the UK.
TopFruit handles the licensing of the cultivar while Delecta Fruit is responsible for its marketing.
For more information:
Tel: +27 21 860 3999
Tel: +27 21 874 1033