It is only during the past 50-odd years that strawberries are commercially produced in South Africa. The South African Strawberry Growers Association was established in 1972, providing members a supportive platform where issues can be address and tips can be shared.

It is especially during the past decade that strawberry production has increased substantially in South Africa, mainly due to an increase in demand.

Strawberry farming is expensive and labour intensive. Currently there are 12 main producers who delivers about 90% of all the South African strawberries.

In South African, the main strawberry season is between September and December. Most of South Africa’s strawberries are produced in the Northern Free State, Southern Cape, and Western Cape. The variety that is produced, depends on the weather conditions of the area. About half of the crops are grown in the open while the other half is grown under shading or in tunnels, enabling farmers to produce strawberries out of season (from May until December). The latter farming method is however very expensive.

The flip side of the fact that strawberry production is expensive, is that the yield on a successful season could be very lucrative. The annual value of the crop is estimated to be worth about 25 million Rands.

Next time you enjoy locally grown strawberries, think of the labour and love that went into growing this delicious fruit.