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Canning and preserving


Canning and preserving fruit and vegetables holds numerous advantages for human beings and food security.

  • Food is placed in the airtight container and cooked during the canning process, which safeguards the food from decay. No preservatives are needed.
  • The transport and storage of food is easier. Food can be stored for long periods of time without needing refrigeration.
  • Products such as peaches, pears and apricots are also available now throughout the year.
  • The food is quickly and easily served.


The “educational information” option under “Newsletter” at has useful information about canning and preserving.

International business environment

Greece, the USA, Spain and China are major role players in processed fruit products in the northern hemisphere. They are joined by Chile, Argentina and South Africa in the south.

Further reference:


South Africa: imports and exports

The industry is export orientated. Box 5 in the Bureau for Food & Agricultural Policy (BFAP) 2022-2031 Baseline chapter “Prospects for Agro-processing” looked at canned fruit and vegetables.

Read the SA Fruit and Vegetable Canners’ Association (SAFVCA) page at

Read the Western Cape Exporter Catalogue: Processed and Fine Foods (2021) at

Local business environment

Find information like tree census summaries, cultivars, fruit grading and a season harvest calendar at

The three main sectors of this industry – covering products which are canned, preserved or otherwise processed from fruit, vegetables and tomatoes and other related products – are:

  • Deciduous fruit: based in the Western Cape. Includes products such as canned fruit, fruit in plastic cups, fruit purees, fruit concentrates and jams manufactured from the same raw material base.
  • Pineapples: based in the Eastern Cape. Includes products such as canned pineapples, pineapple purees and concentrates.
  • Tomatoes and vegetables: based in various parts of the country. Includes products such as canned and bottled vegetables, tomatoes, pulps, purees, pastes, sauces, spreads and condiments.


Raw materials are sourced from around 1 500 farms and about 600 000 tons of fresh fruit, tomatoes and vegetables are processed annually to produce goods with a market value of more than ZAR 5 billion. 1 500 farms and generate sales of nearly R5.0 billion. SAFVCA Members directly employ nearly 12 000 workers and 532 administrative and sales staff.

Approximately 85% of the industry’s canned and aseptic deciduous fruit products – namely peaches, apricots, pears, fruit cocktail and pineapples – are destined for export markets in Europe, Far East, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa.

The industry is labour-intensive and export-driven.

For the newcomer

  • Developing new farmers is very difficult, as start-up costs are high and the market highly volatile.
  • Canning fruit diversifies market risks, with the canning segment of producers’ farms generating 10% to 50% of income. Most producers are therefore also producing other commodities. At the moment, canning fruit is alleviating the impact of low earnings from other commodities.
  • Be sensitive to what is happening in the market and understand that supply and demand is the only thing that affects prices. Moreover, supply the market with good quality products that comply with market standards.
  • Globally, there’s a growing concern about food safety and producers need to supply the market with guarantees that their produce is safe to eat.
Source: extracts from “Opportunities in the Canned Fruit industry”, an article in Farmer’s Weekly, August 23 2016.

National strategy and government contact

Of relevance is the Agricultural Product Standards Act: Regulations relating to Grading, Packing and Marking of Canned and Pickled Vegetables intended for sale in Republic of South Africa.

Processing and value add in agriculture is recognised by government as an important contributor towards job creation and poverty alleviation in South Africa. Accordingly, the sector currently enjoys the support of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) to promote its products in global markets. “Fruits and vegetables” is one of the areas identified by APAP (Agricultural Policy Action Plan) as holding enormous potential in the country’s achieving the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP).

The Public Private Partnership Fruit Canning Initiative between SAFVCA and the dtic was intended to “create a sustainable platform for the long-term growth and competitiveness of the industry”. The PPP is aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP 2030), the Industrial Policy Action Plans (IPAPs) and the Integrated National Export Strategy (INES).

  • Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) Directorate: Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Role players

Further reference:

Associations involved

  • The Canning Fruit Producers’ Association (CFPA) CFPA is a voluntary association of canning fruit farmers in the Western- and Eastern Cape regions. The Association aims to serve the apricot, pear and peach growers and act on their behalf. They offer the services of: (i) grading regulations relating to the grading of fresh apricots, clingstone peaches and pears intended for processing in a factory (ii) setting spraying recommendations for maximum residue limits (iii) the handling of samples for residue analysis (iv) plant improvement.
  • The SA Fruit and Vegetable Canners’ Association (SAFVCA)  is a voluntary grouping of fruit and vegetable canning/processing industry members. Its focus is the general manufacturing interests of this industry. The SA Fruit & Vegetable Canners’ Export Council (SAFVCEC) operates in association with SAFVCA. Its focus is export promotion and development.


Training and research

  • Research for the fresh production of canning fruit is contracted to universities, as well as to the ARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij.
  • Canning companies provide learnerships and do HACCP training for their staff. Companies involved also do research – investigating new products and varieties.



  • In addition, there are other vegetable canners and pulp/puree processors whose contact details may be obtained from SAFVCEC.


See also “Fruit and vegetable juices” and the various fruit pages on the Agribook website.

Websites and publications

Visit the role player websites listed earlier on this page.

  • Die Krat is a bi-monthly newsletter which contains practical information regarding the canning fruit industry. Contact the CFPA for more information.
  • Find the “Canning” article at the Food Advisory Consumer Services (FACS) website,
  • Also of interest is the presentation done by the industry to the then Department of Trade and Industry in 2015. It can be read here.


Some articles

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