SPAR South Africa’s rural hubs show promise
South African stone fruit sector battles through sustained drought
As South Africa’s farmers continue to battle the sustained drought the country has undergone in recent years, Hortgro, the organisation which represents South Africa’s stone and top fruit industries, has been supporting producers and agricultural workers to manage their product during the harvesting season. Hortgro Science provides research-based information to enhance the quality of South African stone and top fruit. Growers reportedly receive regular notes and technical updates from Hortgro Science, highlighting the primary fruit quality aspects to be adhered to during heat waves.
South Africa’s soft citrus crops defy expectations
South Africa’s 2019 soft citrus season presented a varied picture across the country’s diverse geography. The estimates of the major organisations (e.g. Citrus Marketing Forum) were realised, with exports amounting to 18.2 million 15kg cartons, according to data published by the CGA . However, the accuracy of the estimates appears to have been a fluke, as South Africa’s fourth largest production area, Sundays River, exported 31% more than the initial estimate, while the fifth biggest, Senwes, exported 42.6% less than had been forecast.
Spanish citrus sector appeals to supermarkets not to buy South African citrus
Valencia’s main agricultural professional organisation, La Unio-Uniò de Lluradors, has asked retailers in the country to minimise purchases of South African citrus. The appeal comes after the discovery of prohibited substances in South African fruit. There are 62 active substances used in South Africa that are banned in the EU, 13 of which are defined as "very dangerous" for human health by the WHO.
South Africa spies openings for citrus in Japan
South Africa has seen a general decline in shipments of citrus to Japan. Since 2013, citrus volumes (mainly grapefruit) shipped to the Asian country have slipped from 62,000 pallets per year to 41,000 pallets. Japan represents a key grapefruit market for South African, with trade between the two countries stretching back to the 1970s. South Africa is now looking to increase exports of other citrus varieties. South Africa has been applying for a review of the protocol and the cold treatment requirements with no response as yet from Japan.
South Africa introduces Carbon Tax
South Africa has introduced a new Carbon Tax to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. The first phase of the tax will run until December 2022, with the second phase running from 2023–2030. Agriculture will not be included in the first phase, but may be included in the second phase, although it is not clear what form it will take.