Bringing innovation to the stone fruit industry is central to The Custom Plum Company’s vision. Since 2002, we have been using the Zaiger Genetics breeding program to position us at the forefront of new varietal development.
CPC is a partnership between Unlimited Group and Fresca Group, ultimately combining both companies’ material and technical/promotional strengths.
CPC is unique in that we are involved throughout the process, from varietal selection until the exporter becomes involved during the picking and packing process.
The process begins in Modesto, California. Floyd Zaiger creates tens of thousands of crosses each year. The most promising varieties are selected for import to South Africa as bud wood.
Buds are collected by the CPC technologist, grafted and trees are formed for distribution to our trial blocks in the principal plum growing regions.
With over 12 different CPC trial blocks, every plum growing area in South Africa is covered to ensure the very best evaluation of new tees in distinct micro-climates.
Fruit is assessed at weekly tasting sessions, along with storage and shelf-life trials. Samples are picked across a range of different weeks and trial blocks. The most promising selections are then flown to appropriate markets for customer feedback.
Once the decision is made to release a variety, buds are collected by the nurseries and grafted to their rootstocks. The trees are then grown prior to being lifted for distribution to the producer and are finally planted in the orchard before the first harvest in three years.