Hortgro Pome recently invested R2.5m in a new controlled atmosphere research facility at Stellenbosch University. The launch was held last week during the annual Hortgro Pome CA Meeting. The facility will help solve post-harvest problems within the deciduous fruit industry. Post-harvest research is critical to the future success of new apple cultivars. Hortgro Pome Chairperson, Nicholas Dicey, inaugurated the facility.
Henk Griessel, Tru-Cape Quality Assurance Manager, said the following in an e-mail to Hortgro’s Richard Hurndall: “Funny how things tend to go in the right way when required. In the Packhouse Action Group that we helped to restart in May 2008, we discussed the CA research capacity during August 2013. With Kobus van der Merwes’ imminent retirement, we felt that no real succession plan was in place. The facility at Infruitec was ageing and we felt the industry needed new equipment. Last week, just more than five years since we started the process, the new state of the art CA facility was opened at the Stellenbosch Horticulture Faculty. Indeed a great moment for the industry where Richard Hurndall took the lead and made the plans come to fruition. Well done to the Horticulture Department and Richard for pulling this one through.”