A stone fruit, also called a drupe, is a fruit with a large stone inside. The stone is sometimes mistakenly called the seed; the seed is, in fact, inside the stone. “South African stone fruit growers produce plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and cherries – a total of around 350 000 tonnes per year” (Hortgro Science).
Stone fruit occupies an honorary position in South Africa’s fresh fruit export history. The first fruit to be exported from this country were 14 cases of peaches that left Table Bay harbour on 13 January 1892, destined for England on board the Drummond Castle. When the consignment arrived 19 days later, less than 5% of the fruit had suffered damage; the balance was sold at London’s Covent Garden market at a price that exceeded all expectations.
- Noyaux is the French word for the kernels found in the pits of cherries, apricots, plums and peaches. They can be used to make almond extract and liquors, and to add flavour to jams and creams.
- The turnover of the South African stone fruit industry amounts to R2.46 billion, of which 82% are generated by fresh fruit sales.
- The per capita consumption of fresh stone fruit in South Africa is calculated at 0,95kg.
- According to the 2019 tree census, 16 650ha of stone fruit are established in South Africa, with 92% of these plantings situated in the Western Cape and 2% respectively in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
- Two small peaches have slightly more potassium (key for proper nerve and muscle function) than a medium banana.
ABOUT HORTGRO STONE
In August 1990, the Plum Producers’ Association and the Nectarine and Peach Producers’ Association dissolved and founded the South African Stone Fruit Producers’ Association (SASPA). Following the changes initiated by the new Agricultural Marketing Act of 1996, SASPA converted to a Section 21 (non-profit) company in 1997. In 2018 SASPA changed its name to Hortgro Stone - to keep in line with the continuous growth of our industry.
Hortgro Stone believes that by supporting and building on the industry’s strengths and using it to best advantage, by encouraging solidarity and unity between stakeholders, by shaping and strengthening our practices and disciplines, the industry will be better positioned to compete in the international trading arena.
A Board of directors representing the stone fruit producing regions in the SA administers the Association. Hortgro Stone falls under the structure of HORTGRO, an umbrella industry service organisation.
Other initiatives which Hortgro Stone facilitates include:
- Communication, Liaison and Representation
- Trade and Market Access
- Market Development
- Training & Social Responsibility
- Land Reform, Economic Development
- Plant Improvement and Certification
STONE FRUIT APP
Hortgro’s easy to use stone fruit app offers postharvest information, down to different fruit types and cultivars – all in one place. Learn about different internal disorders, decay types, causes, and remedies as well as different post-harvest fungicide protocols.