Guava – the winter wonder fruit

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                                           JUICE FEATURE

Guava – the winter wonder fruit
Production volumes of guavas have increaed              Victor urged producers to explore all possi-
by 13,6% since 2004, due to an increase             ble avenues to market their product in order to
in demand, according to Guava Producer’s            realise the best possible price for their product.
Organisation CEO, Wiehahn Victor. The total         Aggressive marketing of the guava as healthy
value for producers amount to R58,5 million         fruit is central to the organisation’s strategy to
per year.                                           ride the difficult time.
                                                        ”On its own, the guava markets itself well
Around 41 000 tons of guavas are produced           as nature’s own winter wonder fruit. With
annually, of which half (around 21 000 tons)        financial assistance of the guava processors,
are used for juice, while some 10 000 tons          as well as the department of trade and industry,
are sold through the formal fresh fruit market.     the 2009 generic marketing campaign kicked
The export market takes up approximately 20%        off in April. Special emphasis is placed on the
of the annual production, mostly in the form of     fruit’s unique combination of health, nutrition,
puree and pulp.                                     versatility and taste.
    According to Victor, the guava industry
provides a stable income to farmers in mainly the
Western Cape, but also Mpumalanga, Limpopo             The guava is a tropical fruit thought to
and Northwest. More than half of the 1 000 ha          have its origins in the south of Mexico,
under guava trees are in the Western Cape, with        extending into central America. Guavas
an annual turnover of around R32,5 million.            are found on store shelves during autumn
                                                       and winter. The pink varieties are very
Guava economy                                          popular, although many advantages are
The economic crisis, says Victor in the latest         nowadays also derived from the white
newsletter of the Guava Producers’ Organisa-           variety.
tion, hit South Africa a little later than the US         Guavas are a versatile fruit that is
and Europe, but has undoubtedly affected the           widely used in juices, beverages, con-
local industry.                                        fectionary, yoghurt, cereals, ice cream,
    ”The industry had to face the new season           jams and sweets. Guavas have three
with lower prices due to a slump in the juice          times as much vitamin C as oranges and
market as well as increases of up to 50% in the        have many medicinal uses. M&J
tinned fruit price. This had an adverse effect on

                                                             MILK & JUICE SEPTEMBER ’09         | 33

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