Cherry harvests in SA is underway with growers and industry members acknowledging sweet fruit quality but yield quantities slightly back on previous years.
Fruit Producers SA chief executive officer Jose Gil said cherry growers have not had a great season because they have had the hail storms, wet weather and it has been quite cold.
"The main reason for delayed cherries is you are not going to get sugar in the fruit without the warm weather so basically due to the weather it's been delayed," he said.
"There are certain cherry growers that are providing cherries now.
I would not mind a few extra days before Christmas for ripening so if you can delay some produce and have some early you are spreading your ripening period even with the same variety.- Pete Arthur
"The ones that have come from the Riverland have come quite fluently but the ones grown in the Adelaide Hills are coming in very small lots.
"They are coming in but they have also been quite damaged due to the weather."
Mr Gil said the quality of cherries in the market seem pretty good.
"I just bought two kilograms and they are certainly very nice.
"The quality seems to be good just the quantity has been affected by the weather so hopefully with this warmer weather coming now we will get to see some nice sweet cherries coming onto the market.
"Depending on the grower, they are just waiting for the cherries to set and be ready to be picked.
The Adelaide Hills are spoilt when it comes to labour shortages as they have a lot of people coming up from the city to work in the orchards.
"We are not as remote as in the Riverland where they have to get people," he said,
"Most of the growers have their own contract labourers they use to facilitate harvest.
Mr Gil said everybody should enjoy the cherries available this festive season and reap the rewards of the great produce that we grow in SA.
In October the SA Produce Markets held their annual cherry auction where a donated box of Ceravolo Orchards cherries made a whopping $50,000, bought by the Romeo Foundation.
All of the funds raised from the auctioned box of cherries were donated to Camp Quality, supporting families with cancer diagnosis.
Romeo Foundation director Anthony Romeo said there were no hesitations about the donation of $50,000 when it came to kids.
SA Produce Market chief executive officer Angelo Demasi said November had been a tough month for growers with hailstorm damage.
"We are a resilient industry, despite hailstorms we have also had bushfires and so forth, we have also still managed to grow the industry by 5 per cent per annum," he said.
"The recent cool weather has delayed our industry, but it is good news for consumers because we are going to end up having excellent cherries for Christmas and right through the new year."
Ceravolo Orchards producer Tony Ceravolo said, while the volume of cherries might be slightly down this year, there had been great quality produced.
"Consumers will have to get in early as the quality is high but the volume slightly reduced," he said.
Family run business, Kerries Cherries, owned by Pete and Kerrie Arthur, Yundi, sell direct to consumers from the farm gate.
"We start our picking in mid December because we do not have any early varieties," Mr Arthur said.
"We might be a little late on picking this year due to the cold spring.
"It is fine for the fruit size but it does not get cherries before Christmas which is when consumers want them."
Mr Arthur said the warm weather will help ripen them.
"The fruit sector is a little bit patchy but the quality is good, particularly our Lapin's, he said.
"I think it will be an average season overall, quality is good but volume is slightly down on last year.
"We predict we will have around 5 tones, last year we had 8t.
"We missed all the hail damage fortunately but the main thing this year was it was very cold during flowering so the bees weren't flying for pollination.
Mr Arthur said having the whole orchard under black netting could have effects on his production.
"I think the black net makes the produce later," he says.
"If I had my time again, I would try half white net, half black net.
"I would not mind a few extra days before Christmas for ripening so if you can delay some produce and have some early you are spreading your ripening period even with the same variety.
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