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Granny Smith

Has been in South Africa for almost 100 years now and went from strength to strength. In the late 1970s and mid-1980s, it was the dominant variety grown here with good crops of dark green apples that found a niche worldwide for taste and colour. With no competition to date, no wonder it is still being planted.

Green Granny Smith Apple On White Background
Pile Of Fresh And Healthy Yellow Apples

Golden Delicious

Another centurion that crops really well, year after year. With a mild sweet refreshing taste it had takers in South Africa, Africa, and in the world. With the advent of storage techniques that delay ripening, ‘Golden’ really found its place. With all the modern techniques we can now store this apple for 12 months and still deliver a good eating product that does not go soft on the final customer. In summary, a good cropper that reacts very well to technology.

Red Delicious

The local market always loved a sweet red apple, no matter how mealy. Red is king and all other apple prices are compared to the old Red Delicious or Topred as the full red ones came to be marketed here. Red Delicious also gave so many mutations of redder fruit that there was always a better one to plant. The sweet, sub-acid taste coupled with the bright full red colour was the reason that this apple became a Super Variety.

Fresh Red Delicious Apple 500x500
Gala X850


When the first Gala was sold, it was considered an early-season apple, something to open the market before Golden Delicious. Its magic was however sometimes evasive. Red colour, although some red cheek, was mostly not enough. The answer came with mutations with names like Royal Gala, Royal Beaut, Bigbucks and others. With these mutations the number of fruit on the tree with full red colour increased, and consequently the market value to the farmer. The other factor is Gala’s good reaction to modern storage techniques. This changed the apple from a short-season apple to being available and of good quality for 9 months. In summary, mutations and reaction to storage techniques made it a super variety.


The saying goes that 1 billion Chinese cannot be wrong. Fuji with its dense flesh and lovely sweet taste was a winner from the start. The first Fuji’s planted in South Africa had codes like BC2, TAC 114 and others, but the fruit, when grown right, ripened with a Turkish Deligh blush and was a joy to eat. Like many part-red varieties, customers only wanted the red ones. That reduced a lot of good apples to a lowly class 2. But like many other varieties, mutations came to the rescue and produced apples with an almost fully red colour. So the reason it is placed under a Super Variety is that every single Chinese cannot be wrong!

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Cripps Pink

Being the only Pink apple in the market it immediately had a niche.ย  Being the first fully-managed variety also helped it to become even more successful. At one stage it was almost impossible to supply enough with the 40% block colour fruit.

Like many half-coloured apples, mutations that gave us redder/pinker fruit were found, with wonderful names like Rosy GLow or Lady in Red (and others), which gave more colour and which increased the number of fruit from each tree that would end up in a class 1 carton having 40% block colour. In short, the reason for Cripps Pink being placed under a Super Variety is the unique pink colour, its taste and the way it was managed.

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