History

  • 1945
    The idea of plant improvement is conceived by Dr SJ du Plessis.
  • 1950
    The first step is taken – conducting a programme based on the visual selection of suitable plant material. 
  • 1964
    The South African Plant Improvement Association (Plantas) is established.
  • 1971
    A fruit improvement scheme is designed specifically for South Africa. 
  • 1974
    The Deciduous, Canning and Dried Fruit Boards establish the South African Plant Improvement Organisation (SAPO) as a partnership agreement with equal representation and clear objectives of supplying improved plant material to the industry.
  • 1975
    Excelsior Farm is developed by SAPO as a centralised propagation and multiplication unit. 
  • 1976
    The first super plant rootstock material, true to type and free of known viruses, is issued to nurserymen.
  • 1979
    Nurseries supplied the first super plant trees to producers.
  • 1987
    Fleurbaix Farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch becomes SAPO headquarters.
  • 1999
    SAPO becomes a trust, changing its name to SAPO Trust.
  • 2003
    The first new nucleus facilities are established on Fleurbaix.
  • 2007
    SAPO’s foundation nursery is established at Tygerhoek farm in Riviersonderend.
  • 2010
    SAPO Trust’s laboratory is SANAS accredited.
  • 2011
    SAPO becomes Black Economic Empowered. 
  • 2012
    SAPO Trust (also) registers as Plant Improvement Organisation for wine grapes.
  • 2013
    New pathology laboratory commences with operations.
  • 2015
    Inauguration of the SAPO Office Block.