The very first pears – Forelles and Packhams – shipped from South Africa to China arrived in Guangzhou ahead of the Mid-Autumn festival. Arrival quality was excellent, says Craig Schaefer of Core Fruit, and the pears obtained very nice sales prices.
“We’ve made a good start to the pear trade in China,“ Craig says. “After the years of waiting we didn’t want to delay any longer and we decided to send pears from our CA rooms and already give exposure now to our pears in preparation for the next season, when our buyers will begin to have a feeling for South African pears.”
He notes that the wholesale market offers a lot of exposure to their product and they have since received orders from retail as well. They are still packing pears for China; arrivals are expected to go into November.
Being able to send pears to China is very good for South Africa in the long term, and he estimates that the Chinese market could eventually absorb 5% to 10% of South African pears, mainly Forelles, Packhams and Cheeky, a South African blush pear, and not on small sizes (although that is a market that could possibly be developed, he notes).
Photos supplied by Core Fruit
The volumes they’ll be sending to China this season are constrained by packaging requirement and availability of the gauze layer required over ventilation holes in the cartons. For the moment, they are importing the gauze from China but in future they could be looking at having it locally manufactured.