The region is looking forward to excellent quality this season, while the fruit’s biggest packer, SRCC, celebrates 100 years in the citrus business

South Africa’s Sundays River in the Eastern Cape has earned the reputation of being South Africa’s so-called ‘lemon valley’.

South Africa lemon trees Adobe Stock

Its biggest packer, Sunday’s River Citrus Company (SRCC), has said it it is looking forward to a high-quality season.

“We will make sure that our customers are well supplied and that consumers continue to learn about the best lemon in the world from the world’s lemon valley,” explained SRCC chief executive Hannes de Waal.

The country’s lemon growers were well positioned to ensure a good supply of high-quality lemons to customers this year, he continued.

“It is perhaps true to say that the South African lemon growing areas enjoyed the best growing conditions of all countries this year, so are privileged to see beautiful and clean crops, peaking in the retail size specification,” De Waal outlined.

“Due to the growing conditions in this valley and the proximity to the port we are set to continue our stable supply of organic lemons and edible skin lemons as well as the wax free category that is a niche item.”

Packing facilities were well diversified and could pack according to the demand for these various items, he said.

“Therefore, we are confident that we can definitely continue to give demanding consumers a lemon with low residues, and where frankly no packhouse residues as required.”

Reports from the northern parts of South Africa, where growers already started packing, have been very positive. The Sundays River Valley and the other major growing regions are set to start soon.

The seedless category is also coming along nicely in South Africa, De Waal confirmed.

“All we need to do is tell global consumers about that,” he said. ”We have seen a really improved demand from some western retailers.

”Consumption in the Gulf Areas should be strong as it always is. They are probably the nations that are the most enthusiastic users of high-quality lemons, and the fruit is visible at every meal.”

The global lemon industry needed to learn from the way lemons were consumed in the Gulf Region, De Waal pointed out, and know that this “extremely healthy product can indeed be present on every table at every meal, always.”

This should be the common goal for the global lemon business, he added.