Citrus shipments from South Africa:

The Cape Town to the United States South Africa’s citrus season is in full swing.

As we speak, 60 percent of volumes to the US have been shipped.

Nevertheless, the South Africa Citrus season has had serious challenges.

The country had to endure a lot.

There were riots in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, escalated taxi-violence in Cape Town, a third and most severe COVID wave, as well as an unforeseen disruption of the Transnet IT system that resulted in delays at ports.

In addition to obstacles within the country, the South African citrus industry was not spared from the global supply chain pressure either.

Despite all those challenges, citrus farmers in South Africa have shown resilience.

“The good news is that the summer citrus program to the US is entirely shipped out of Cape Town.

“Although what happens in South Africa could affect our economy as a whole, it did not affect the citrus program to the US that much,” says Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa.

Dedicated conventional vessels, which account for almost 80 percent of all citrus shipments to the US, have been moving according to plan.

They have been the citrus fruit effectively through the system, although not without challenges.

“The pace of shipping is a lot faster.”

The open communication between all parties involved in South Africa and the United States makes it easier to execute the program with excellence,” Conradie added.

The citrus growers have their own challenges, forcing them to work sustainably in every aspect.

“The words sustainable farming are used wrong in my opinion,” says Stiaan Engelbrecht of Everseason. From a South African point of view, it is more survival which ultimately resulted in sustainability.

“We don’t have the amount of water available that we would like to give to the trees.

We also can’t farm the way we would like to. As a result, we had to:

  • Go solar,
  • Build new irrigation systems,
  • and plant citrus varieties that need less water,” he said.

Originally, South Africa’s citrus farmers needed to save costs to survive, and this then resulted in a lower carbon footprint. […]

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