Citrus farming is one of the specialised crops which need special attention in order to have a better product at the end of the value chain. Citrus crops that are well looked after produce good income while poor crops become costly to the farmer. Any suspicions of pests' damage may render the consignment for export to be turned down at the expense of a farmer. The objectives of this paper were to assess performance and sustainability between cooperatives and sole proprietorship citrus farms. The research also looked at the reasons as to why some farmers are more successful than others who farm in the same region with similar circumstances and challenges. This study compared the performance of commercial cooperatives and sole proprietorships of citrus farmers in Mpumalanga Province. A total of 40 farmers were interviewed in order to establish their scale of performance and contribution to sustainability. The findings revealed that the knowledge was a critical factor as they were found knowledgeable in citrus, such as management, business planning, packaging and marketing. It is recommended that the emerging citrus farmers should be exposed to acquisition of appropriate knowledge and skills if they have to perform better.