”Outstanding” raisin crop in the country signals an improvement after a number of challenging years for the industry

South African raisin producers have bounced back in 2024, achieving a total crop size of 95,000 tonnes with “outstanding quality”, following several challenging years for the industry.

South African raisins

A combination of adverse weather conditions, global economic uncertainty and increased input costs has put pressure on suppliers, resulting in a reduced crop of 60,231 tonnes in 2023.

According to the industry, the crop this year has provided some of the best quality and widest variety of raisins yet seen after South Africa’s vineyards enjoyed optimal climate patterns in recent months, with well-distributed rainfall and ample sunlight providing ideal conditions for grape cultivation.

A crop of 100,000 tonnes is set to become the norm for this quality orientated origin.

Raisins SA said it firmly believed that the future prospects for the dried fruit (raisins) category held ”significant growth opportunities”, especially from a healthy snacking perspective.

The industry body said it was is gearing up for a wide-ranging PR campaign in the UK over the coming months, with an equal focus on both trade and consumer audiences.

Activity will include a trip for key buyers and trade journalists to the Orange River region, a retailer roadshow in the UK, continued trade media placings in the UK and Germany, and further social media activity targeted at shoppers.

The goal of the activity will be to showcase South African raisin production, with the hot and dry climate of the Orange River allowing the majority of product to be naturally sundried.

With lower pest and disease pressure reducing the need for chemical control, buyers and consumers can be reassured that the raisins contain little to no residues.

Over 700 growers are committed to responsible business practices spanning human rights, environmental protection, social responsibility and product traceability.

“Customers can look forward to excellent-quality South African raisins this year,” said Ferdie Botha, chief executive of Raisins SA. ”They are bursting with flavour and natural goodness, and as they are packed full of nutrients such as fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants, they are perfect for New Year health diets.

”We are excited to work closely with customers and bring new consumers into the category.”