South Africa's first citrus consignment to the Philippines is expected to arrive on Southeast Asian shores within the next three weeks. This new market, which took years of negotiation, has presented the country with an export potential of 20,000 tons of citrus fruit, with export earnings of close to P205 million annually. Now, the industry says it is ready to outshine its export competition in the Southern Hemisphere.
However, in order for this to happen, South Africa's citrus exporters must get ready to pull out all the stops, Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association, told foodformzansi.co.za.
June 8 marked a historic moment South African citrus history when local producers sent a consignment of 50 pallets -containing more than 50 tons of citrus to the Philippines. The new market which follows 12 years of negotiations between the two countries is set to earn South Africa a large amount of foreign currency and translate into much needed job opportunities.
Mzansi's citrus must become preferred fruit Speaking at the Durban port from where the citrus was shipped, Chadwick noted that the new market opportunity emerged at a crucial period. "The opening of the Philippines market comes at a time when the South African citrus industry is expected to grow by a further 500,000 tons over the next three to five years. Expanding access to new overseas markets is crucial if we want to avoid an oversupply of the region's exports to our existing markets.”