Skelton SA reports on the 2020 Export Season: The Golden Kiwifruit industry in SA is still new and the past 6 years have been a steep learning curve for the early growers. However, 2020 was a watershed year for the Skelton varieties with excellent returns on the international markets and the below feedback from marketers perhaps summarises the retailer sentiment the best, as well as providing valuable insight into the top two performing Skelton varieties:
“Four consecutive years of commercial Golden Kiwi exports from South Africa has provided us with key technical information by variety. This information has been obtained from various receivers situated in different global markets – completely independent of each other. These markets include Europe (various countries), The United Kingdom, The Middle East and Asia. Within these markets we received feedback from both retail chains (and their main service providers) as well as wholesale traders. Most of the clients received a combination of varieties, which enabled them to provide a very clear comparison of each one’s post-harvest traits and technical attributes on arrival (after 3 to 4 weeks of shipping by sea). A percentage of the fruit was also shipped by air. Comparative results obtained from air shipments showed a correlation with the information obtained from sea shipments. The main technical attributes that are tested on arrival in the markets are: blemish levels, over-all external appearance, fruit shape, fruit pressure, brix levels and internal colour development. A combination of these attributes will also provide the client with an approximate idea of shelf life.
Earliest of the golden varieties, which is beneficial when it comes to the marketing window for South African product, as it is less likely to clash with the first Zespri from New Zealand. Reports show an average performance in terms of fruit pressure and shelf life. Pressures on arrival vary between 0.0 to 6.0kg, with majority of the fruit arriving closer to 5.0kg pressure. Whilst inconsistency in fruit pressure is noted, the over-all majority is still manageable with decent shelf life capability. Brix levels vary from 11° on the firmer fruit to 16.5° on the softer fruit. External appearance is found to be flatter than the New Zealand Sungold, but still acceptable due to the absence of any other golden kiwis.
Internal colour can vary from a creamy yellow/light green when the fruit is firm, to a full yellow as it ripens/softens. The creamy yellow colour can cause some confusion before the fruit has been triggered, however it does develop into a full yellow once it has reached its optimum ripeness index. The fruit appears clean externally. The Z487 seems to achieve very high Brix levels which gives it a very good eating experience / quality.
The Y368 follows after the Z487 and still falls within a very good marketing window with no other golden kiwis available (in Europe). Average pressures on arrival vary between 2.5kg and 8.5kg, with majority of the pressures in the range of 5.0 to 6.0kg. Inconsistency in fruit pressure is noted, however the general average is the best we’ve seen of all varieties shipped, providing good shelf life capability. This also enables the receivers to trigger the fruit and manage it to the desired firmness at point of sale. Brix levels vary between 11.5° on the firmer fruit, and 15.5° on the softer fruit.
Similar to the Z487, the Y368 tend be of a flatter shape when compared to other golden varieties. Receivers pointed this out, however consumption levels are unaffected by this characteristic. Internal colour on arrival is found to be a creamy yellow and as the fruit ripens and the Brix levels increase, it develops a full yellow colouration. The Y368 holds its firmness very well, and when triggered, delivers a good combination between sufficient shelf life and strong eating quality.”
For more information on Skelton South Africa contact Craig Heslop: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +27 (0) 82 327 4047