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Table grapes


Table grapes are grapes intended for consumption while they are fresh, as opposed to grapes grown for wine production, juice production, or for drying into raisins. Table varieties usually have lower sugar content than wine grapes and are more flavourful when eaten. Their flavours, however, do not survive fermentation and their low sugar content means that any wine produced from them is weak, bland-tasting and easy to deteriorate.

Source:; Table grape market value chain on 

International business environment

  • The top producers of table grapes are China, India, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the EU. The top exporters are Peru, Chile, China, South Africa and India (USDA, 2023).
  • Read the latest Overview Global Table Grape Market by Fresh Plaza at

South Africa: import and export

  • Table grapes exports from South Africa have gone to Europe (54%), UK (20%), Canada (5%), South East Asia (5%), Middle East (5%), Far East (3%), Israel (3%), Africa (2%), Russia (1%), the Indian Ocean Islands (1%), and other (1%) (FPEF, 2024).

Local business environment

  • The Orange River; the valleys of the Hex, Berg and Olifants Rivers; and Limpopo province are the main producers of table grapes (find the “Regions” option at 
  • Table and dry grapes are one of the most important deciduous fruit grown in South Africa, taking into consideration their foreign exchange earnings, employment creation and linkage with support institutions.
  • Table grapes sold in the export markets generate a greater unit price than that achieved on the local market. For this reason, management orientation and understanding of the rules of the export markets are critical factors in the pathway to success in table grape production.
  • Up to 90% of the total production is exported, mostly to Europe and the UK where South Africa enjoys preferential market access through the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between South Africa and the EU.
  • The bulk of sales to the consumer are by means of contractual agreements via preferred category suppliers to the large supermarket chains. Furthermore, various export companies or agents conduct work on the basis of consignment sales on behalf of the growers or packers. The industry operates in a deregulated environment where prices are determined by the market forces of demand and supply.

Further reference:

  • The reader is encouraged to visit  The Statistics Book and other documents provide a comprehensive picture of the industry.
  • The annual Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline covers the table grape industry. Find the document at
  • Also check whether the Directorate Marketing at the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has resumed publishing the annual Table Grape Market Value Chain Profile at


Find the “Skills Development and Transformation” option at

  • Hortfin is a R600 billion, special purpose development financing vehicle established by the deciduous, table grape and wine industries. The custodian of Hortfin is the deciduous fruit industry, supported by the Jobs fund and Land Bank. It targets mostly agri entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged groups. Read more at

National strategy and government contact

  • Table grapes, citrus and vegetables are looked at in chapter 6 of the National Development Plan (NDP) as areas in which jobs can be created. It is an important crop for the country having high growth potential while being labour intensive (Sihlobo, 2018).
  • Find details of the different directorates at the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) under “Branches” at
  • The Perishable Products Exports Control Board (PPECB) acts for government in terms of the Agricultural Products Standards Act 119 of 1990 and controls and certifies that quality standards of these products are met. See

Role players

Note: Click to expand the headings below.  To get a free listing on our website like the ones below, visit here for more information or place your order hereDisclaimer: The role player listings are not vetted by this website.

Agrimek – Agrimek vineyard tools and implements
FELCO SA – Shears and pruning equipment
Hortec – Weather stations and forecasts and analytical services
Fruit South Africa (FSA) – Fruit South Africa (FSA) is a non-profit organisation formed to address common issues affecting member organisations in the South African fruit industry. The members of FSA are Citrus Growers Association (CGA), Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF), HORTGRO, SA Subtropical Growers’ Association (Subtrop), and SA Table Grapes (SATI).
South African Table Grapes Industry – On the website find contact details for the regional co-ordinators in the Orange, Olifants, Berg and Hex river areas, and in Limpopo.
Agricultural Research Council (ARC)-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij – Training courses the following cover: (i) Selection of cultivars and site selection, (ii) Soil preparation and establishment of trees, (iii) Irrigation principles and practices, (iv) Fertilisation principles and practices, (v) Weed control (vi) Pruning of fruit trees and fruit thinning practices, (vii) Identification and control of pests and diseases, (viii) Post-harvest handling of fruit (ix) Processing of fruit (for example, canning, drying, jam making) (x) Solutions to non-bearing fruit trees.
Vine Academy and Model Farm – National Certificate: Viticulture, NQF 4, 5; Technical Short Course qualifications

Further reference:


Companies: exporters

  • Find the list of table grape exporters in the FPEF Export Directory at

Training and research:


Find the “Knowledge Hub” and “Skills Development and Transformation” options at


The Table Grape Academy comprises the:

  • Viticulture (Table Grape Science) lecturing post at Stellenbosch University.
  • SATI/ARC/ Elsenburg Modular Course in Table Grape production.
  • Audio Visual Materials and other training materials used by the industry for the industry.
  • Various bursaries.
  • Various training and mentorship programmes for emerging producers and middle managers.

The Modular Course in Table Grape Production is presented by SATIARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij and Elsenburg.

Developing skills and best practices for grape farmers in the Northern Cape


A long-term empowerment programme in the Northern Cape has helped previously disadvantaged farmers improve their grape farming knowledge and financial management skills. The project is an Agricultural Research Council (ARC) led collaboration between several government and non-governmental organisations, as well as two private companies in the fruit and wine industry. Since 1997, the project has offered farmers days, business management training courses, workshops, and on-farm consultations to the communities of Eksteenskuil and Releaboga. The project has resulted in many new wine and raisin grape vineyards being established.

Source: Agricultural Research Council (ARC)

Websites and publications

  • Refer to websites listed earlier on this page e.g.
  • The annual Fresh Fruit Exporter Directory gives trade statistics for the table grapes and other fruit sectors. Download it at the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF) website,
  • The annual Food Trade SA publication is another good source of export statistics for fresh produce. Find it at
  • Table grapes was previously covered in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) annual publications on market value chains. Check to see if these are being published again on the Directorate Marketing web pages at The Abstract of Agricultural Statistics on the DALRRD website (take “Branches”, “Administration” and “Statistics and economic analysis”) includes statistics on grapes – production, sales on markets, exports, purchases for processing etc. DALRRD also has “Production guidelines: grapes” which can be downloaded under the “Resource centre” option on its website.
  • The ARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij has a list of numerous publications on table grape production. This can be found on its pages at Also from them is series of full colour pamphlets discussing how to identify, control and prevent various diseases and pests in the vineyard.
  • CD Roms from the ARC-Plant Health and Protection (PHP) include: Crop Pests, vol. 1: Deciduous Fruit, Grapes and Berries. Write to booksales [at] or infopri [at]
  • Consult the AgriSETA Learner Guide Primary Agriculture “Harvesting agricultural crops”.
  • Available at


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