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UK lockdown a blow to South African baby veg and flower exports

In terms of the South African fresh produce industry, the UK's new lockdown will have the largest effect on the airfreighted exports of baby veg and flowers, both edible flowers and cut flowers like proteas grown in the Western Cape.

Orders from the UK restaurant and hospitality sector have nosedived as the news coming from the UK drastically changed the trading environment.

Photo © Oksanashyriaieva |

"The situation is challenging, to say the least," notes an exporter. "We're on the edge of our seats to see how it plays out from here. It's so uncertain, it changes from day to day."  

Retail a steady raft
Traders doing retail business with the UK report steady demand for air freighted produce.

There is little evidence in the UK of the previous panic-buying, they say, but there is uncertainty with regards to the impact of winter weather on the consumption of summer fruit from South Africa due to arrive soon in some quantity by sea.

Some in the industry predict that the situation is only going to stabilize six to eight months hence. "The business that gets through this can get through anything."



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