Summer Citrus from South Africa CEO Suhanra Conradie Talks Cara-Caras, Navels, Easy Peelers, Star Ruby, and More This Season
- by Kayla Webb
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - The season’s crop from Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) is officially stateside and CEO Suhanra Conradie gave me the inside scoop on the company’s Cara-Caras, Navels, Easy Peelers, and Star Ruby varieties rolling into produce aisles this summer.
“There is a niche market in the United States for Cara-Caras, but the availability is limited. Cara-Caras started arriving in June and will continue to arrive until the middle of August. In terms of production and packing, we are more than 60 percent through our Navels season, and internal and eating quality is very good,” Suhanra shared with me. “As for Easy Peelers, all growers are finished with clementines and will soon start with later mandarin varieties. The feedback from the production area is that the quality is exceptionally good, with very good color and internals. This is, of course, is the area where the growth is predicted.”
Easy Peelers will start to arrive in limited volumes toward the middle of August, increasing in volume as September approaches. Suhanra noted that over the next two to three years, more mandarins from South Africa will be available.
In addition, Star Ruby has shown good, solid growth over the last few years and will continue to grow during the 2018 season. This variety has started to arrive since the end of June and will continue to arrive through the end of September. With good quality, too, Suhanra reported.
In terms of weather, it was reported in early 2018 that Cape Town could be one of the first major cities in the world to run out of running tap water, a crisis dubbed Day Zero. But, as of July 4, 2018, it was reported that Cape Town’s drought broke and the city appears safe from Day Zero through 2019.
“Looking back at how concerned we started the season and reviewing the position we are in now, we have been truly blessed. From the production side, growers are very thankful as dam levels have increased even more over the last weeks, and we even had good snowfall on the mountains,” Suhanra said. “In terms of the weather in South Africa, we have lovely weather—moderate, warmer, drier summers and cooler winters, with now being the main rainfall season. Overall, perfect for growing the world’s finest summer citrus!”
Along with Cara-Caras, Navels, Easy Peelers, and Star Ruby, SCSA is also looking forward to its Midknights, with more information on their season and quality coming soon.
For more on fresh fruit and vegetable field-to-store journeys around the world, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.