Prospects for Celina pear looking very positive

The Celina pear, was first grown in 2005 in South Africa and will go into commercial production in January 2017. Celina is harvested in early January, about the same time as Williams Bon Chrétien. In terms of the South African harvest calendar, Celina will open the season and be followed by Rosemary, Flamingo, Cheeky and ultimately, Forelle. The harvest window will therefore not clash with that of other varieties, which is a great advantage when it comes to labour and infrastructure constraints.

"Although very attractive to consumers with a red blush on a green back ground it is not strikingly different to other varieties of blush pears available, but for the growers there is huge difference. There is a much bigger percentage of fruit on the tree which is well coloured and this is what you get the good returns on," according to Andries van der Westhuizen from Stargrow Fruit Marketing. "It also has a fantastic shelf life which will reduce quality issues during and after shipping. It also does very well under CA storage conditions."

The Celina is a premium pear variety. South Africa pears traditionally go to western Europe, particularly Germany and the UK, and according to van der Westhiuzen, these are the natural markets to explore first. "There are also lots of opportunities in China, which we hope will open for South African pears very soon. We have always had good demand for blush pears from Hong Kong in the past. The Forelle has always demanded a good price there and the Celina is very similar in appearance and the fact that Celina is way earlier than the Forelle is also an advantage."

Volumes expected in 2017 are around 300 tonnes which will increase quickly to 600 tonnes reaching 4000 tonnes when everything planted already reaches full production. This volume will go still higher as there are new plantings being carried out all the time.

Stargrow has the sole rights for the Celina pear in South Africa and have also sub-licensed Core Fruit to market the variety.

The Celina is already grown in Belgium, Scandinavia and Spain.

Stargrow has a few new varieties in the pipeline but it's too early to talk about them as they are still in trails.

For more information:
Andries van der Westhuizen
Stargrow Fruit Marketing
Tel: +27 21 880 1882
Mob: +27 82 873 3336

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