Promotional activity for the South African stone fruit industry is underway and growers are optimistic about the season ahead.
The 2018/19 season brought many challenges after last year’s drought caused damage to early crops, which impacted fruit size, quality and volume. This year, however, is set to see an improvement in all aspects.
Hortgro, the organisation which represents South Africa’s stone and top fruit industries, will continue to develop the plum, peach, nectarine, apple and pear categories in the UK through their integrated marketing initiative, which has now been running for 11 years.
André Smit, Hortgro Stone Chairman, said: “The Beautiful, Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign is an essential vehicle for growing the South African fruit market in the UK and engaging with stakeholders throughout the supply chain. We were faced with many challenges during the previous season, but the stone fruit industry is looking forward to the 2019/20 season and remains committed to supplying consumers with good quality and great tasting products.”
Collaboration with retailers will be one of the main focuses during this year’s campaign, which will include in-store promotions, advertising and editorial online and in retailer magazines, head office sampling and social media activity.
South African stone fruit and top fruit will be supported by other activities, including recipe styling and photography, consumer and trade editorial and advertising, social media, recipes videos and media gift boxes.
Generic initiatives South African Young Chef of the Year and Help a South African School will continue to run this season.
The initial export crop estimate projects an increase in volumes compared to the previous season. Nectarines are expected to increase from last year’s 4 million cartons to almost 4.7 million cartons (2.5kg). Peaches can expect a 6% increase to 1.9 million cartons. Plum growers anticipate an increase of 15% compared to last season, to 10.1 million cartons. At this stage, the increased volumes are mainly driven by young orchards coming into production and producers having more available irrigation water.