The home of the South African deciduous fruit grower.
At HORTGRO we focus on production, research and technology, markets, and transformation within the deciduous fruit industry.
Our roots date back to the Spring of 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck planted the first apple seeds in the Cape of Goodhope. After the success of these apple trees, producers started to experiment with others crops and sold their produce to passing ships.
The South African fruit export industry was “founded” by Percy Molteno in 1892, when he successfully exported a small consignment of peaches to the United Kingdom, which was sold at Covent Garden market. After this, the fruit export market took off like rocket and by 1903 more than 22 000 fruit packages were being exported.
After years of exporting under their individual names, the deciduous fruit producers realised they needed a body to offer support to growers and formed the Deciduous Fruit Exchange (1926), which was later adapted to the South African Fruit – Deciduous Fruit Board (1947), Universal Frutrade Co-operative (1987), Unifruco (1989), Deciduous Fruit Producers’ Trust (1997) and ultimately HORTGRO (2013).