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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.
South African Fruit


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 an NPC 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.


To promote the common interests and specific needs of stone fruit producers in the RSA and to act as their official mouthpiece and representative.
To rationalise and promote the production and marketing of stone fruit and stone fruit products.
To encourage and pursue constructive dialogue and mutual co-operation with government and other parties.
To foster mutual trust and long-term relationships amongst role players and stakeholders.
To establish and promote a reciprocal information system, so as to arm the industry with all available information to enable stakeholders to make informed market decisions.


To engage in orderly, responsible, and viable production practices that are sustainable over the long term.
To stimulate and encourage new product development and product variety.
To strengthen adherence to the disciplines and standards that ensure quality, food safety and environmental protection.

Other initiatives which Hortgro Stone facilitates include:

  • Research
  • Communication, Liaison and Representation
  • Trade and Market Access
  • Market Development
  • Training & Social Responsibility
  • Land Reform, Economic Development
  • Plant Improvement and Certification


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.


In 2019, Hortgro formally incorporated Dried Tree Fruit into it's service structure.

learn more

Chairperson: Andre Smit
Tel: +27 (0)21 870 2900
Fax: +27 (0)21 870 2915


258 Main Street
Western Cape

P O Box 163
South Africa

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