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Cape Fire™ destined to set international market ablaze

Delecta Fruit is proud to be the only exporter to currently market the Cape Fire™ bi-coloured pear internationally. This new cultivar was first discovered just over a decade ago by farmer Henri du Plessis on Elandsrivier Farm in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. This distinctly maroon coloured pear has experienced significant international interest due to its intense colour and large size. It is also harvested at the very end of the season, two weeks after the Forelle harvest, which is another reason why supermarkets are enthusiastic  – allowing them to extend their ‘pear season’ window.

“We pride ourselves in offering our international buyers the latest fruit varieties available. Being the first exporter to introduce the global market to the Cape Fire™ pear is an opportunity we take seriously.” says Gert Marais, Apple & Pear Category Manager at Delecta Fruit. Like all new varieties the micro climate, soil type and rootstock plays a decisive role in the management and success of newly established Cape Fire orchards.

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Class 1 Forelle pears, left, compared to the intense colour of the Cape Fire™ pear on the right.

Cape Fire™ has been harvested on seven farms in South Africa (one being Elandsrivier Boerdery where it was first discovered), and is in the first official season of exporting to Germany and the UK.

Joubert Stemmet, farm manager at Elandsrivier Boerdery, is optimistic about this season’s harvest. Last year the severe drought and temperatures had a negative influence on the overall pack out – similar to what we experienced with our Forelle crop this year. This year the Cape Fire™ fruit are big and the sugar levels close to 20 Brix. We have fruit with some russet forming on isolated trees.

The less than 5% of pears not coloured enough to be marketed as Cape Fire™, will be marketed as Dpp1 (Du Plessis Pear 1) pears, the name under which the pear is registered. The Cape Fire™ trademark has now been registered in the EU, the USA, South Africa, Argentine, Chile, Vietnam and China; TopFruit manages the intellectual property.

The Cape Fire™ is one of 11 pear varieties that are currently marketed and exported under the Delecta Fruit brand.

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Cape Fire™ pears pictured on Elandsrivier Farm in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, just outside Ceres, where they were discovered more than a decade ago.

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