By the end of week 32, Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) has gone through almost 70 percent of its planned citrus shipments for the season. This accounts for 10 conventional vessels and containers on deck in Philadelphia along with about 17,000 pallets shipped in containers to New York and Savannah, GA. Despite some challenges of unforeseen delays with some vessels, Summer Citrus from South Africa has been able to stick to its original shipping plan.
Almost half of the citrus fruit basket is represented by Easy Peelers while Navels make up 44 percent of total shipment. The remaining six percent are Star Ruby grapefruit and Cara-Cara oranges. Summer Citrus from South Africa will continue with weekly conventional arrivals until the 2nd or 3rd week of October with supplemental containers in between.
South Africa is now moving into the later Mandarin varieties and growers/shippers eagerly share how they manage the supply chain along with the growth of the Easy Peeler category. “In the US, the Easy Peeler business has been driving growth in the citrus category,” says Chris Cockle with Wonderful Citrus. “The amount of fruit coming from the southern hemisphere allows us to provide retailers and consumers with a consistent supply, consistent taste profile, and quality,” he added. Growth of the Easy Peeler category results in a longer stretch for imports this season.
The increasing demand is being met due to careful planning of all partners involved. “The growers are working as a group,” says Erin Meder with Capespan North America. “Collaboration has also helped growers understand that the US market is a very demanding market. “Due to the partnership, South Africa has been able to set a premium standard, critical to meeting consumers’ needs.”
“The men and women of South Africa have shown that the timeless elements of what they do are most important,” says Leo Holt with Holt Logistics Corp. These elements include:
- Controlling the supply chain to accommodate the demands of the US market. That’s what the people of Citrusdal have stayed true to.
- Having access to partners that will bring products to the markets you need to penetrate in a timely way.
- Guaranteeing freshness and availability in the marketplace because of growing, cooling, and shipping excellence.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, a grower representative from South Africa was able to visit the US. Having a grower representative present helps with building trust between exporters and importers.
Planning, communicating, and delivering high-quality fruit are the three key elements of SCSA’s program. “They allow us to say we are selling the world’s finest summer citrus,” finished Conradie.
Summer Citrus 2022 season update.