GRAAFF FRUIT

Innovative techniques and an emphasis on top-quality stone fruit are just two reasons behind Graaff Fruit's relationship with Spinneys

WHO THEY ARE

The Western Cape – where Graaff Fruit is snugly situated – is quite the peach for agriculture. It creates an environment that, not without challenges, enables growers to produce stone fruit of the very best quality, as well as ensuring sustainable production levels. Grower-owned exporter Delecta Fruit works closely with Graaff Fruit, a family business with strong roots in agriculture that has been supplying Spinneys with nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and persimmons since 2010.

WHAT THEY DO

While, as South Africa is a water scarce country, there are certain stumbling blocks that need to be cleared to achieve the best fruit possible, Graaff has invested in the latest irrigation technology. With a glance at his iPad Danie Viljoen, farm production manager, can check irrigation – 24 soil moisture probes give readings at various depths, showing how much water is available to the trees.

Fertilisation is also ripe for progression. State of the art equipment delivers the perfect amount of fertiliser, which Danie says helps to ensure the overall appeal of the fruit. “Applying too much fertiliser disturbs the trees’ production balance, from plant vigour to sugar content and shelf-life of the fruit.” Controlling the levels of fertiliser results in sweeter fruit that lasts longer.

TRY THE PRODUCTS

The early, mid and late-harvest varieties offered – red, yellow and black plums, yellow and white nectarines – allow Graaff to keep Spinneys shelves stocked with its fruit for much of the year and a great deal of care goes into providing Spinneys with quality fruit. “We have tested over 1,000 new varieties and our teams pick fruit at exactly the right time so that it arrives to our markets at its peak.” Its new range of ready-to-eat stone fruit will be in stores soon and confirms the company’s total commitment to quality.

With so much effort having gone into the production of the fruit, how best to store it at home? Danie explains: “Leave it in the fridge for a few days, then allow it to come to room temperature an hour or two before eating.” Whether you enjoy Graaff’s fruits simply as they come or in a recipe, great taste is guaranteed.