[9 July/EuroFruit]

A recent initiative from Worldwide Fruit said that growers and their staff would have to develop an entirely new approach in future to managing water use on their farms and ensuring it was used optimally. It also said that while most in the South African fruit industry were aware of the challenges, there was a need to dig deeper on farms and within orchards and vineyards to see what was really going on. Worldwide Fruit Technical and Procurement Director, Tony Harding, said its business relationships extended to and operated across multiple countries and regions. Recent rain may have reduced some of the immediate pressure on the fruit sector. Head of Woolworth’s Farming for the Future, Kobus Pienaar, said a study showed South African nectarine growers were already among the most sensitive water users in the world. The way South African growers understood water vulnerability risks and the best way to find solutions and communicate strategies was the key message of the workshop.