Special South Africa

BioBee SA, biggest insectary in South Africa, is a joint venture of BioBee Israel, ZZ2 and Hishtil

Growing interest in biological control of citrus, deciduous fruit and veg pests

BioBee South Africa was founded in 2014 and focuses on rearing and selling beneficial insects throughout the country. Recent changes to chemical protocols for agriculture exporters and rising chemical resistance oblige farmers to look at alternatives, which allows biological control companies like BioBee…

Avinash Maharaj, Star Choice Exports

Strong demand for lemons from Middle East in run-up to Ramadan

Star Choice Exports is experiencing huge demand for lemons in the Middle East in the run-up to Ramadan that starts on 5 May, says its managing director Avinash Maharaj. The company, which focuses largely on citrus, supplies the hospitality and catering sector in the Middle East, the result of a…

Low volumes push up tomato prices and offer good opportunity to Cape tomato growers

Very difficult summer tomato season due to weather & flower drop

Tomato supplies from the northern summer tomato production areas have been significantly down over the past weeks, with market agents at the municipal markets in Gauteng noting that tomato volumes are about 40% lower than usual, giving a good opportunity for Cape tomato producers. (Photos supplied by…

European and UK exports have commenced with excellent quality

Dutoit Agri foresees big future for the sweet potato

For the past eight years the vegetable division of Dutoit Agri has been exporting sweet potato to Europe and the UK. Based in Ceres, their sweet potato portfolio is fifty-fifty orange and white-fleshed. The European market, where their largest clients are in France, Germany and the Netherlands, knows and…

Nail-biting start to Pink Lady harvest in the Free State

The start to the Pink Lady season in South Africa’s eastern Free State has been thrilling, with producers waiting on cooler temperatures for colour development which finally came about 10 days ago and last Monday it was all hands on deck to get the apples off. Originally the start of the Free State Pink…

Dawie Visser & Vincent Keesenberg on the lucrative onion export market, short lemon supplies in the markets and why their business terms attract producers

Farm Fresh Direct & Origin Fruit: looking for opportunities in Africa

Farm Fresh Direct has been trading in vegetables, both on the local market and across the border, since 2015. Their current onion trade with a UK retailer is their first foray into exports, managed by Vincent Keesenberg of Origin Fruit, the fruit division of Farm Fresh Direct. “We’ve sent out 40…

Ceres Fruit Growers: First Envy harvest for the local market

"The Golden Delicious harvest in Ceres is a beauty"

At Ceres Fruit Growers, a packing and storage facility for the apples and pears of more than forty producer-shareholders in the Koue and Warm Bokkeveld, the CA rooms are overflowing (contrary to the years of drought when there were unused rooms). The Golden harvest was a beauty in their region, says De…

Tjeerd Hoekstra, Total Produce:

“Good South African citrus harvest expected despite lower volume than last year”

The South African and Zimbabwean citrus season is about to start. “Most growers wanted to start this week or last weekend, but the harvest has been delayed somewhat because of rain. However, if the weather stays dry, harvest and packing will start this week, and the first boat loaded with a fair volume…

Nick Gutierrez – Citrus Growers' Association representative in the USA

South African access for US apples and blueberries might pave way for all South African citrus into US

At the citrus summit in Port Elizabeth last month, Nick Gutierrez, the CGA representative in the USA, put a number of reasons to delegates to explain why the final rule that would allow citrus from all of South Africa’s growing regions to the USA, has not been published yet. Nick Gutierrez “In many…

CPJ Erasmus & Seun: bell pepper and citrus producers

Grapefruit harvest starts in a very dry Letsitele

CPJ Erasmus & Seun specializes in citrus and bell peppers, the first primarily for export and the second completely for the domestic market. The bell pepper season runs for about seven months, May until December. Their early navels for the domestic market have already been picked. Some lemons and…

Fruit Label Pro offers compostable fruit labels to South African industry

In October last year South African labelling company Label Pro, with offices in Nelspruit, Tzaneen and Port Elizabeth, launched a compostable fruit label, the Bio-Label. Andries Pretorius, managing director, notes high interest in the Bio-Label. “I do believe the concept will catch on that fruit labels…

Rocco Renaldi: “If SA takes on the EU, SA is going to have to be even better on compliance, particularly on FCM”

Citrus summit: European Commission is not hostile to trade with South Africa

Deon Joubert and Rocco Renaldi are the South African citrus industry’s envoy and lobbyist to the European Commission and, amid an acceleration of events around the vexed matter of citrus black spot, they provided delegates to the recent citrus summit with an understanding of the environment in which the…

Bonathaba Pomegranates excited by new Emek variety

Bonathaba, South African pomegranate grower-exporter, last week started with their Wonderful harvest, somewhat earlier than usual, but it’s a nice harvest and after the drought of the previous three years, things have returned to normal, says Allan Puterman, operational director. The Bonathaba…

Jupiter South Africa starts satsuma harvest

An improved technical structure sees enriched agronomical inputs improve the colour, size and quality of lemons as the season starts in Maswiri. Three weeks into the citrus season, Jupiter South Africa is packing lemons for export and Navel oranges for the local market. As the Jupiter Group moves through…

Some areas report crop volumes reduced by only 10-15%, while others expect between 30 to 40% drop

Avocado industry pleased with outstanding packouts

Everyone knows South Africa’s avocado volumes are down this year, but by how much is still becoming clear as the early season unfolds and the start of the main Hass harvest gets closer. Currently Maluma and Carmen Hass are being harvested, apart from greenskins like Fuerte and Pinkerton. The main Hass…


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