The aim of the study is to enquire about the global competitive performance of the South African stone fruit industry for the period 1961 – 2012. A five-step analytical framework was applied, using approaches by Balassa (revealed comparative advantage, RCA), Vollrath
(relative trade advantage, RTA) and the Porter Diamond Model, together with statistical methods such as cluster analyses, principle component analyses and Cronbach’s alpha, to reflect differences in stakeholder opinions and views within the value chain. South African
stone fruit was found to perform consistently at high, but fluctuating competitive levels in highly contested global markets (RTA values of between 0.41 and 5.61 since 1961); particularly since the economic deregulation of the industry in the mid 1990’s. A strategic planning framework was drafted with participation from key industry role-players, identifying eleven industry level strategic focus areas. These included improved strategic communication within the value chain and improved industry intelligence systems.
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