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South Africa: Stonefruit season similar to last year

The South African stonefruit season is just getting underway in the Western Cape. FVC International started the nectarine harvest last week, with peaches expected this week and plums next week.

Craig Riordan from the company said the stonefruit season is looking very similar to last year, "Sizes may be a bit smaller than last year possibly due the dry conditions but the volumes should be good."

The timing is a little earlier than last year but Riordan is looking forward to a good season.

The company's main markets are Europe, Middle East and Russia. "Volumes to the Middle East have increased dramatically over the last few years and it is a very good market for us. This is definitely a premium market," explains Riordan.

Others on the Middle East market at the same time are Chile and also Australia are coming on quite strongly this season.

In addition FVC International export around 2.5 million cartons to the EU each year. As for the Russian market this remains steady and fruit only goes there when payment is made in advance.

FVC own a lot of their own stores in South Africa and so supply a fair amount of fruit to the domestic market, although this is quality dependent.

The company are always looking for new markets and are quite hopeful that Taiwan will open up soon, if the psytosanitary issues can be sorted.

For more information:
Craig Riordan
FVC International
Tel. +27 21 5055960

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