Apricot canning industry recovers after difficult period

Apricot canning industry recovers after difficult period
The 2021/2021 Bulida apricot crop was estimated at 29 906t, which was 15% higher than the five-year average. Photo: Elena Chochkova
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After three difficult years, the 2020/2021 Bulida apricot crop was an example of how quickly nature can recover due to favourable conditions.

This was according to Jacques Jordaan, CEO of the Canning Fruit Producers’ Association, who was commenting on the final figures for the 2020/2021 apricot season.

He said that most production regions experienced ideal weather conditions with good rain and winter cold preceding the season. He added that the temperate climate led to favourable flowering conditions and good fruit set.

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“In addition, the quality of this year’s fruit was excellent with few marks and sufficient fruit size.”

The Bulida apricot crop for 2020/2021 was estimated at 29 906t, of which 28 806t would be used for canning, juice or puree purposes. According to Jordaan, this year’s harvest was 15% higher than the five-year average.

Jordaan said that processing factories had access to 126% more fruit than last year and that about 71% of the 28 806t of fruit was used for canning, while 20% was used for juice and puree production. He said that while this was in line with last year’s figures, it was better than the five-year average.

“The combination of better yields and prices moving in the right direction should start to make more sense for apricot growers this year,” he said.

However, Jordaan warned producers not to become complacent.

“The age composition of orchards is still a matter of concern, and a strategic partnership between processors and producers is needed to ensure stability and align production with market needs.”

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