Apricot canning industry recovers after difficult period

After three difficult years, the 2020/2021 Bulida apricot crop was an example of how quickly nature can recover due to favourable conditions.

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

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.

- Advertisement -

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.

“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.”

Jeandré Du Preez is the newest addition to the Farmer’s Weekly team. Originating from a Riversdal farming family, she has farming in her blood. After school she furthered her studies at Stellenbosch and has been working as an agricultural journalist for the past two years. She says she feels privileged to write about an industry paramount to the survival of all South Africans and is inspired by the innovative solutions with which the farming community bridges the many challenges they face. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. If she is not writing or visiting farms, you’ll find her relaxing with a good mystery novel or exploring her other passions: travelling and cooking.