South Africa’s sultana producers are stepping up their sustainability plans despite the challenges of climate change.
The country supplies the premium raisin varieties, known for their attractive colour and natural sweetness, from the Northern and Western Cape regions, however for the past two years growers have had to tackle higher than average rainfall as inconsistent weather becomes more commonplace.
In the past two years, a number of SA Sultana growers have been implementing new systems to purify and re-use water, while factories are taking further steps to make use of natural resources and move closer to net-zero production. And despite the complications of the weather, Raisins South Africa saw a 13% increase in production of SA Sultanas in 2021, compared to the year before.
“South Africa is dedicated to adopting sustainable farming processes that benefit its produce, workers and the environment,” Botha explained. “Sultanas are one of four main product categories offered by South Africa, and so the further diversification of their range to include the SA Sultana now enables the industry to deliver more products to the UK market, making their production and export process more sustainable. The variety boasts a 12-month shelf life and excellent value for money.”
Formerly known as the WP raisin, the recently rebranded SA Sultana is one of South Africa’s premium raisin varieties. Thanks to its excellent product flow and long shelf life, the product is commonly used in bakery products, retail snack bars and muesli products, as well as in cooking and snacking.
The SA Sultana is naturally dried in direct sunlight, with the Northern Cape production areas typically receiving 10.5 hours of sunshine a day during the harvest period of January to March. With a global trend towards reducing residue levels in all food products, South Africa’s natural production methods make it a global leader and preferred origin of supply.