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Rain over the southwestern parts of the Western Cape

Peachy year for South African stonefruit

It’s been a season in which the Western Cape has again showed itself as one of the world’s best stonefruit production regions. Growing conditions were ideal, the winter wet and cold, and the orchards responded with a bounty of excellent eating quality.

At the moment in the plum orchards the September Yummy plum crop have been taken off ahead of the first strong cold front and rain of the season, while late cultivars like Autumn Treat are still green and will be unaffected, explains Lohan Marais, commercial director of Icon Fruit.

Right: a tray of Flavor Fall

The Flavor Fall plum harvest starts next week, running until week 14, so their plum season could run until week 17. He notes that the new Flavor Fall crop is looking exceptional.

“All of our plum cultivars performed well this season. The rain could cut the plum season short for some of the more sensitive varieties, but up until now it’s been a good plum season. Markets were a bit full, putting plum prices under pressure at times and prices weren’t always at the levels of last year, but that’s a result of strong supply.”

An exceptional crop of Flavor Fall is hanging, soon to be harvested (photos supplied by Icon Fruit)

Excellent season for late Carmingo apricots
”We flew out our last apricots last week to the EU and the UK. The performance of the last Carmingo apricots was excellent,” Lohan remarks. 

The nectarine season, which they finished last week, was similarly strong both in terms of price, volume, colour and eating quality. Final peaches are packed this week, and some of the last volumes could be affected by today’s rain.

“It’s also been a good peach year. It has its ups and downs when there are a lot of volumes in the market, but nothing unmanageable.”

Strong volumes compensate for the price pressures in a full market. “It’s the tonnages that pay the bills, as farmers like to say,” Lohan remarks.

For more information:
Lohan Marais
Icon Fruit
Tel: +27 72 643 4204

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