Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)
SA citrus bound for the Philippines
The first shipment of South African citrus to the Philippines is expected to reach that country by the end of May, according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa. Approximately 10 000t in total were expected to be exported to the Philippines in the medium term.
He said this new market would absorb some of the excess citrus produced in South Africa, with the latest estimates for total citrus exports being 158,7 million 15kg-cartons in 2021, up from 146 million cartons in 2020.
According to Chadwick, the negotiations and process of opening up this new market had taken 12 years.
Anton Kruger, CEO of the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum South Africa, said Asian markets were very important for local exporters, and South Africa currently exported no other fresh produce to the Philippines.
“Asian markets are growing due to increasing populations and a growing middle class, with citrus forming a large part of [consumers’] diets,” he said.
Kruger said logistics in the harbour of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, were well organised, and authorities there would easily be able to handle the additional shipments that would be entering the port.
“Some of the citrus will go directly to retailers, while some will go to fresh fruit markets,” Kruger said. – Pieter Dempsey