South Africa's citrus industry is thriving and is expected to continue on an upward trajectory.
SA is the second-biggest global exporter of citrus fruit in the world.
The industry exports two million tonnes of citrus each year, according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers Association.
The country's main export crops are mandarins and lemons and only the highest grade of fruit is shipped out.
Chadwick says overseas markets, especially in Europe, have strict criteria on food quality and safety.
It's for this reason that the best-looking citrus fruit is exported for international consumers while SA is left with second-best.
The sector has been growing at 7% to 9% a year for the last 10 years.— Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association
We export 70% of our fruits and the cosmetic requirements in the overseas markets are very strict so the better-looking fruit gets overseas.— Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association
Fresh produce exporter have been facing issues with infrastructure as well as go-slows by employees, affecting distribution at South African ports.
Despite this, Chadwick says the future for local citrus industry exports looks sweet.
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : South Africa's citrus industry growing at 9% a year