The two largest deciduous fruit industry associations, the South African Apple and Pear Producers’ Association (SAAPPA) and the South African Stone Fruit Producers’ Association (SASPA) will in future be known as Hortgro Pome and Hortgro Stone.

Hortgro, the deciduous fruit umbrella-group, said in a statement that the name changes will streamline future services, industry identity and branding, as well as communication locally and abroad.

Hortgro Executive Director, Anton Rabe, said that “Within the horticulture group we are committed to continuous and proactive adjustments in a dynamic and diverse environment, to minimize duplication and ensure cost-effective service delivery to a wide range of interested groups. Restructuring and aligning of our associations within the broader industry were therefore agreed upon by the various stakeholders in order to improve and accelerate decision-making as we are operating in a rapidly changing and demanding environment.”

The two entities will continue as non-profit companies and the chairpersons for the two groupings will stay the same, namely: Nicholas Dicey for Hortgro Pome and André Smit for Hortgro Stone, but the number of directors on the respective boards will be reduced and will in future be streamlined along focused portfolios.

Hortgro has its roots in the Deciduous Fruit Board that was established in 1939 as a regulatory body to manage the industry. With the deregulation of agriculture in 1997, it morphed into the Deciduous Fruit Producers’ Trust and later became known as Hortgro. Hortgro is a levy-funded industry body servicing primarily its main members, stone fruit, and apple and pear producers, as well as other horticultural groups.

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