South African raisins record strong seasonal crops for the global bakery sector

The bakery sector has reportedly seen high volumes and exceptional quality from South Africa’s key production region of currants this Easter, according to the country’s industry association.

Its currant crops are grown exclusively in the Olifants River valley region in the Western Cape, which represents 12% of the nation’s raisin production.

According to Raisins South Africa, the region has experienced excellent growing conditions for South African currants so far this year, and as a result, the quality of this year’s crop has been reported by packers as excellent.

The dry, sunny Mediterranean climate of the valley, along with the ample supply of water from the Olifants River catchment area, makes ideal growing conditions to produce the highest quality raisins in the Southern Hemisphere.

South Africa is the second largest producer of currants in the world, producing 4000 – 5000 tonnes per year. The currants have a small berry count, making the variety perfect for even product distribution, and well suited to the needs of the international baking and confectionary sectors.

Ferdie Botha, CEO of Raisins South Africa, comments: “Volume intake in the Olifants River Valley has progressed well to date. The season is roughly speaking two weeks late, as of the 3rd week of March 2021. At this point in time, approximately 3,000 ton of Currants have delivered to packers for processing and exporting to key markets. It is anticipated that a further 1,000 ton will be delivered by the end of April 2021. The quality of Currants is very good for this season.”

The 2021 raisins campaign has seen a strong focus so far on public health. Healthy snacking remains at the forefront of Raisins South Africa’s consumer-focussed campaign, whilst also aiming to promote their industry’s point of difference to the UK market. The digital campaign #SARaisinsWeek took place across social media channels from 22-28 March, highlighting raisins’ suitability for baking and cooking, as well as the farming processes involved

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