As the South African avocado season is set to get underway, industry predictions are that the export volume will be at 18.5million 4kg cartons. This season’s fruit is expected to be smaller than usual and, in some areas, early season harvests are expected.

The South African market has experienced various weather conditions that have affected the crop, but this is very area dependant as has been experienced in the Lowveld area where the pervasive heat has had some impact on the crop.

With over 129 years of leadership in the fresh produce industry, Halls remains in the top 5 largest avocado exporters in South Africa. The company had a good season last year in terms of supplying quality fruit, the installation of a world class Aweta line in their Mataffin packhouse was customised to optimally grade different Greenskin varietals as well as Hass avocados to achieve optimal grading of fruit. “Last year was a year of commissioning the Aweta machine and a large learning curve for the packhouse which resulted in huge efficiency and grading gains” explains Christo Kloppers, Managing Director for Halls South Africa. This year the company is confident that with the machine learning on the different varietals from last year, the accuracy in the packhouse will be further increased adding value to their growers and export quality.

Sustainability has become the major topic in the industry and every company seeks to position itself as an organisation that is sustainable through most, if not all its initiatives. Halls has developed a sustainability strategy with specific targets for the short, medium and long-term. From launching their “every drop of our water matters” campaign through video infographics to talk about feasible and practical water sustainability initiatives, to embarking in biodiversity projects from insect populations to the foliage that supports them. The company plans to adopt the use of drone flights which allows for assessment and monitoring of tree health status as well as upgrading their canal systems which will help in eliminating any current and future leaks and seepage on waterway systems.

The DuRoi Halls Nursery has come on in leaps and bounds and is almost at full production, right at the time when the business is transitioning towards a majority Hass production. “Our focus is to continue to attract quality growers and offer a partnership that enhances our growers’ business”. Their efforts in pioneering new origins within South Africa are progressing well and they look forward to bringing quality fruit outside the traditional SA windows on-line.

Halls’ pioneering spirit remains strong and they prioritise flexibility and being adaptive to ensure the delivery of quality fresh produce into an ever-expanding a