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Citrus industry looking to open up new markets as exports boom

6 April 2021 8:14 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Justin Chadwick
Bruce Whitfield
Agriculture sector
citrus exports
oranges
lemons
grapefruit
Citrus Growers Association

Exports of close to 160m cartons are expected in 2021. Bruce Whitfield interviews the Citrus Growers Association's Justin Chadwick

International demand for South African citrus is going strong.

RELATED: Good news for local citrus industry: Bumper season expected for US exports

According to the Citrus Growers Association, the local industry is expected to export 158.7 million cartons of citrus in 2021.

And current projections forecast a 22% increase in exports over the following two years.

Bruce Whitfield interviews Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers Association.

It's testament to the growers and the hard work they've put in, and all the work that's gone into market access and production.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

At the moment, the biggest market is the European Union.

This grew in 2020 as the Covid pandemic heightened awareness of the health benefits of the Vitamin C in citrus produce.

Chadwick says there's also been growth in Asia, particularly in China (with a focus on grapefruit).

The big thing for us now with this volume is to ensure that we've got markets for it - if you carry on sending more and more volume into the same market, at some point you're going to start impacting on returns.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

We really need to open up new markets, and get better conditions of entry into present markets and make sure that we retain them.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

The biggest competitors are in South America - Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay. We compete with them in Europe and North America. In terms of Asia, our biggest competitor there is Australia.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

He says production is increasing throughout South Africa.

In the Western Cape, farmers are switching from growing wine grapes to cultivating "soft citrus" under netting.

You need a climate where you get good heat in the summer, good rainfall to get it to grow and then you also need a cold snap. The reason why an orange goes orange is because it reaches a certain temperature and that causes colour change in the peel.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

The overseas markets look at colour as well in terms of the quality specs they look at.

Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

Chadwick gives the assurance that there's "more than enough" quality citrus to satisfy the local market as well.

Listen to Chadwick's insights on the challenges faced by the booming citrus sector:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Citrus industry looking to open up new markets as exports boom




6 April 2021 8:14 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Justin Chadwick
Bruce Whitfield
Agriculture sector
citrus exports
oranges
lemons
grapefruit
Citrus Growers Association

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