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South Africa forecasts similar size table grape crop

South Africa has forecast a similar size table grape crop in the 2021-22 season compared to the previous campaign.

In its first crop estimate, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) said it expected an intake volume range of between 70.6 million and 77.7 million cartons (4.5 kg equivalent), with the mid-point at 74,2 million cartons, which is close the volume packed during the 2020/2021 season.

Although new plantings of higher yielding cultivars are expected to continue coming into full production, the 2021 vine census, which forms the basis of the crop estimate, indicates a decrease of 536 hectares, from 21 100,to 20,564 hectares.

When the latest census is compared with the 2019 census, there is a 1,234 hectares decrease in plantings, providing further evidence of consolidation in the South African table grape industry.

South African producers will focus on “going back to basics” notes Anton Viljoen, Chairman of SATI. “Producers will focus on the aspects in their management from growing to preparing bunches, packing and meeting customers' needs.”

“We must also keep in mind, we farm under the blue skies where everything is possible and nature can take its own course. We manage it as best we can to continue to provide our renowned quality and the world’s best tasting table grapes,” said Viljoen.

Evidence of the SA grower’s ongoing commitment to delivering the best quality table grapes is the substantial investments made, not only in planting and growing the latest cultivars, but throughout the value chain. This includes investments in modern packhouses and related technology, cold rooms as well as equipment and capacity to meet the rigorous global ethical, environmental and social standards of markets.

The two early regions namely the Northern Provinces and Orange River regions are due to start packing from early November. The mid to later regions the Olifants River, Berg River and Hex River will start harvesting as usual about a month or more after the early regions.

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