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Positive outlook for pome fruit growers

Cape Fire pear

According to a recent statement from Hortgro, a normal pome fruit season is anticipated for the 2020 season – which is good news for local fruit growers.

Hortgro’s statement reads:

“With good 2019 winter rain, many of the growers are able to prepare a good crop. In general, colour development and pack-outs look promising at this stage. Only the early pears sizing and colouring has been negatively affected by the heatwave experienced during mid-January 2020.

An increase in most apple crop varieties will be seen in 2020. This is due to young orchards coming into production as well as the Ceres region returning to a normal crop. A 6% increase is estimated for apples but pear exports are estimated to be on down 3% compared to the previous season.”

Pome fruit export estimate (12.5 kg equivalent cartons):

Pome fruit estimate 2019/2020

We asked Delecta’s Pome Fruit Category Manager, Gert Marais, to give us some more insight on the matter:

“We are positive about the current pome fruit estimates and anticipate a good season. Although the estimated pear export is lower than 2019, there is an increased demand for pears in Europe and the rest of the world, due to the exceptionally low pear harvest in the EU – the smallest in 12 years. Furthermore, countries in the Southern Hemisphere who are competing with the Northern Hemisphere countries, are also experiencing a lower harvest”, says Marais.

Williams Bon Chretien pear

Williams Bon Chretien

“The market always responds favourably to low supply, which is good news for our producers. However, as the selling price gets higher, there is an increased pressure to ensure that the fruit quality remains of the highest standard to justify higher prices. Supermarkets will also be more selective and strict if they have to buy at very high prices. The consumer will also become more selective before purchasing the now more expensive fruit.

On the topic of new pome cultivars that Delecta will be making available abroad, we look at the Cape Fire™ pear.

“We are happy to report that the Cape Fire™ pear quality is exceptional this year. The volume is still small, but it grows every year and we look forward to this cultivar becoming even more popular,” Marais concludes.

Cape Fire pear

Distinctly maroon red pear, Cape Fire™

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