Ariamsvlei date producer gearing up for new harvest of fresh dates early 2020
The date producer in the Ariamsvlei district, Desert Fruit, is confident that its upcoming harvest of fresh dates will be ready for the market by the end of January 2020.
Managing Director, Seth Holmes said they have steadily improved their production volumes and varieties, focussing on both tonnage and quality. Their main varieties now comprise Medjool, Zamli, Khallas, Barhi and Ruthab.
“We know that our fresh dates are sought after, especially in the Middle and Far East and there has also been a steady growth market into Europe. We ship fresh and allow our dates to ripen at the consumer. This gives them the option to be eaten fresh at all stages of ripening, especially the Ruthab date,” said Holmes.
Desert Fruit’s Technical Manager, Charles Edmonds elaborated that they have been working with Barhi to bring a quality offering to the market. “Barhi is the traditional fresh varietal which offers large round fruit. Our farm production managers are confident of a high quality product in the New Year.”
Desert Fruit has already exported fresh dates to the Far East, Indian Ocean islands, the Middle East and the UAE. Lately, the European market has also become an important destination for Desert Fruit’s fresh dates.
The dates are air freighted to the respective markets within 72 hours of harvest to meet the highest quality demands of consumers and to ensure that the offering is of the best international standard. The next harvest will be ready for shipping before Ramadan.
As a date producer, Desert Fruit started its first plantings in 2005. To date, the farm has propagated and established 22,000 palms of varying ages. Once all the trees are mature, Desert Fruit expects to export more than 3000 tonnes per year.
During the harvest season, Desert Fruit employs up to 450 workers.