Exports to US go ahead

South Africa: Litchi volumes down 30-40%

South African Litchi Growers Association (SALGA) has just completed the first litchi export trial to the US. “We are waiting to find out if it is commercially worth our while to go through with it, and we should know this in the next few days, but the initial trial was successful,” explains Cornel van der Merwe.

The FDA (Food and Drug Association) has approved fresh produce for irradiation. Van der Merwe explained that the litchis were required to go through an irradiation process, in New Orleans before it could be sent to the market. Australia will also trial exports litchi’s to the US, however, SALGA is not concerned as volumes shouldn’t be large into USA from Australia.

“Due to the current weather conditions, volumes are down 30-40%,” says van der Merwe. “It’s difficult to tell how much we will export, if we do go ahead. Due to the extreme heat we are way behind on our volumes, so for this season, I don’t think we will do any more than about 40 tons. It could be anything between 10-40 tons, which is very limited.”

For more information:
Cornel van der Merwe
South African Litchi Growers Association
Tel: +27 82 784 7859
Email: cornel@bosveldsitrus.co.za

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