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.