Ayoba Arctic Ice Posted on

A pandemic, frosts, and dropped prices, but South African protea sales picking up

Future Fynbos on growing Protea after a challenging year

Last year after the start of the Covid pandemic there was much uncertainty as to how the South African 2020 Proteaceae season would unfold.  The white cynaroides ‘Arctic Ice, managed by Future Fynbos under the Ayoba® brand took a knock during its first peak in April/May 2020 but the market started picking up the middle of May and was ready for the second peak producing in Sept/Oct.  Volumes increased by 17% from 2019.  Unfortunately average prices dropped by 12% mainly due to lower prices in the second quarter of 2020.

The 2021 season started off well with sales for the first 6 months of Ayoba® Arctic Ice production up by 35% compared to the first six months of 2020.  Prices were 45% higher than the first 6 months of 2020.

Field trials are ongoing to optimize the growing of this variety as well as to vase life trials to improve the vase life.

Ayoba Arctic ice vase life

Pincushions make up the largest group of Proteaceae exported from South Africa with some 12 million stems exported from South Africa in the 2019/2020 season (Capeflora statistics, February 2021).  These flowers come in a variety of different colours and shapes and have excellent vase life.  With global production they are now available almost year – round.

Ayoba® pincushions accounted for 2 million of these stems in the 2019/2020 season.  Future Fynbos is continually breeding and trialling new varieties with the aim of bringing them to the market in commercial quantities.

The 2020 Ayoba® pincushion season in South Africa was affected by a winter characterized by protracted cold fronts and sharp temperature drops from mid-June to the end of August.  Severe frosts occurred during 2020 in the last week of August across the Western Cape delaying the start of the crop.

Ayoba pincushions

The 2021 winter in the main Proteaceae production area, the Western Cape, has had more frequent cold fronts and higher rainfall to date than 2020 and one frost event in the middle of July.

As long as farms are able to operate and planes are flying to get our product to the market we can look forward to a good season 2021.

Ayoba sun picking