Lohan Marais – Icon Fruit

Cherry plums look even better than last year

"We’re getting weekly rain since the season has started and it’s made it a difficult start, with some rain damage to apricots and plums. The early season was 10 to 12 days later than expected but I don’t think the mid to late season stone fruit will be late, so within the next week or two the season is going to catch up," says Lohan Marais, commercial director at Icon Fruit, stone fruit specialist.

“On the bright side, it’s not too hot, where other years we might’ve been struggling with heat or sunburn,” he notes.

Icon fruit has started packing their Zaiger cherry plums, starting on Monday with Sweet Pixie 4 and then moving onto Sweet Pixzee 2 for a harvesting period of around six weeks. Most cherry plum orchards are in Simondium, with new orchards coming into production in the Klein-Karoo to lengthen the season.

“The cherry plums are looking very good, it’s looking even better than last year,” he says. “The colour is nice and the sugars are very good, a brix of around 15, 16. We started last Monday with the first pick and we're very excited.”

Photos supplied by Icon Fruit

Cherry plums go to the traditional markets for South African stone fruit.

“It’s a relatively new line and it’s our third year of offering cherry plums. Last year we had our first high volumes. Certain clients are acquainted with it but there are still clients who don’t yet really know it. We’re progressing well in introducing it to those clients.”

The cherry plums are packed loose in 5kg loose, bags and various sizes of punnets.

Ruby Dawn, a Zaiger interspecific plum is currently on the tail end of packing, and the Sapphire and Black Splendor plum harvests have started, to be followed by Ruby Sun this week.

“On apricots we’re doing the last Imperials, and then Bebeco and Soldonne from next week. On peaches it’s December Princess and next week we’ll start on Luciana nectarines.”

The Middle East is already sporadically under pressure with stone fruit while the main markets in the EU and the UK are relatively empty, but shipping remains a challenge.

“The opportunity is there. Shipping is difficult because of wind delays in Cape Town port and containers are scarce.".

For more information:
Lohan Marais
Icon Fruit
Tel: +27 72 643 4204
Email: lohan@iconfruit.co.za

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