In industry, formal independent fruit cultivar evaluation by Provar is supported by various in-season ‘Fruit Tastings’ to showcase the latest cultivars and selections belonging to IP representatives and fruit breeders. Provar, as the host for these industry tastings, invites all producers, cultivar owners, licensees, breeders, evaluators of new cultivars, and any person interested to attend as representatives of the consumer. These tastings are held at the Provar fruit evaluation laboratory in Paarl and/or at the Provar evaluation orchards.
These exhibitions allow all who take part to experience well-organised and standardised fruit tasting of the latest cultivars and selections. The in-house evaluations are performed using a Provar developed tasting web application as a tool that enables attendees to score the cultivars and selections based on visual and sensory fruit characteristics, simulating a consumer panel. The reports are received via email and attendees have easy access to a web-based data platform where they can see their scores next to the average scores generated by all who attended.
It is important to remember that planting decisions cannot be based on the results of industry fruit tastings alone. This is because fruit tastings are normally set up using a few of the best-selected fruit picked from trees at their optimal harvest stage, that do not accurately represent tree adaptability and/or production characteristics. However, fruit tastings can become the first step in filtering new selections and cultivars, adding insight to the collective database and therefore, benefiting the cultivar owner, licensee, producer, and the future of the SA fruit industry.
2021 Fruit exhibition results
In 2021, in compliance with Covid regulations, fruit exhibitions were predominantly held at evaluation orchards managed by Provar in association with Hortgro – the management body of the deciduous fruit industry in South Africa. Four such pome fruit exhibitions representing different growing areas in South Africa resulted in almost one hundred tasters attending. IP licensees that took part in these events include ARC – Culdevco, One Million Apples, Robert Mulch/Tru-Cape, SAPO Trust, Stargrow, and TopFruit. Tastings were held at Oak Valley in Grabouw, Nooitgedacht in Koue Bokkeveld, Lushof in Warm Bokkeveld and in the Langkloof. In total, 69 apple cultivars and selections and 19 pear cultivars and selections were included in the exhibitions. Aggregated results of the best performing cultivars and selections across events show a representative sample from all IP licensees and/or breeders that were exhibiting their cultivars and/or selections. Results are shown in Table 1 for apples and Table 2 for pears. Download the results here: Provar 2021 Pome Fruit Tasting Results from 20211214 Final
2022 Fruit exhibitions
For the 2021-2022 season, stone fruit exhibitions have already started in-house in the Provar fruit evaluation laboratory and will be followed up by pome fruit exhibitions both in the laboratory and in the evaluation orchards. All parties interested in attending these exhibitions can contact Provar.
For further information, please contact Iwan Labuschagne (firstname.lastname@example.org; 00 27 71 685 8857).