South African kiwiberries benefit from cool, wet summer

There is a short, sharp season for South African kiwiberries flown out to Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany and the Netherlands.

Danie Meyer grows three varieties of kiwiberry on his farm Nooyenskopje in Magoebaskloof, Limpopo: the Thai, Wha and Rua varieties.

The kiwiberry harvest started two weeks ago, with some disruptions due to the copious rain of the season. The fruit has a very smooth, sensitive skin, and should be harvested within a short period.

Danie says they have had almost 1,700mm of rain since January, so much rain that crabs have started leaving the river, but it has been invaluable for the downstream dams which have been close to empty for a few years.

Cool conditions and a cold winter have worked together to produce very good fruit set and in his kiwi orchards the vines are heavy with fruit. 

Danie Meyer inspecting his kiwi orchards; they've been glad for every day of sunshine amid all the rain they've had since the start of the year (photos supplied by Origin Fruit)

“We’re very positive, the crop really looks very good. We’re grateful for the rain. We can’t wait to start with our yellow kiwis in the second or third week of March.”

Kiwiberries not well-known in South Africa
Danie grows many trial blocks of kiwi varieties (green, yellow and red) on his farm. Locally he supplies supermarkets with kiwi fruit but South African consumers don’t know kiwiberries and retailers are hesitant to put the fruit on their shelves.

“Our exporters, Vincent Keesenberg of Origin Fruit and Wouter le Roux of It’sofresh, are performing wonders with our kiwiberries," Danie remarks.

"We used to send our fruit to the UK, now we’re sending directly to customers and it’s working really well, especially on a product like kiwiberries of which we have limited volumes.”

Danie Meyer of Nooyenskopje in Magoebaskloof with Vincent Keesenberg of Origin Fruit

For more information:
Vincent Keesenberg
Origin Fruit
Tel: +27 82 561 3278


Wouter le Roux
Tel: +27 82 905 5481  Tel: +27 12 997 2980


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