SOUTH AFRICA – The CEO of Citrus Growers Association (CGA), Justin Chadwick, has issued a positive projection of 159.0 million cartons for this year’s citrus exports in South Africa.

This data was recorded in CGA’s weekly newsletter by the association’s CEO, Justin Chadwick, who writes on current affairs and trends in the citrus industry every Friday of the year.

The forecast, as documented in the newsletter, breaks down latest export predictions per specific fruits including grapefruits with a forecast of 14.9 million cartons, mandarins at 37.5 million, lemons at 35.9 million, navels at 24.9 million, and valencia with 51.0 million expected shipments this year.

CGA hosts a Citrus Marketing Forum (CMF) meeting every week to share updated statistics in the sector sourcing thorough market feedback from Fresh Produce Exporters Forum (FPEF) and Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) among other sources.

“Well done to Werner van Rooyen and Paul Hardman who have guided the meetings and kept them to under an hour, to Portia Magwaza and the Variety Focus Groups for the updated statistics and to the FPEF members for their thorough market feedback,” noted Justin in the newsletter.

FPEF is a voluntary, non-profit organization with more than 150 members, accounting for about 90% of fresh fruit exported from South Africa.

PPECB, on the other hand, is an independent service provider of quality certification and cold chain management services for producers and exporters of perishable food products that has been in operation since 1926.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Citrus Research Institute (CRI) has welcomed the tightening of biosecurity and quality control in tree propagation scheme that will boost in quality the country’s citrus industry.

Paul Fourie, scheme manager at the CRI, said the scheme would ultimately increase the profitability of the Southern African citrus industry by ensuring citrus growers were supplied with nursery trees of the highest quality, made from true-to-type citrus material and free from harmful pathogens.

The scheme, once implemented, would require nurseries to be audited and certified. Certification would ensure that trees complied with scheme standards, which included that trees were grown in nurseries that had been certified to be Phytophthora and nematode free.

Fourie noted that the scheme would bring multiple benefits to the industry, including improved biosecurity and traceability.

“We are however aware that there will be disadvantages, like a possible reduction in the proportion of budwood cut in nurseries. The limited capacity of nurseries is also of concern,” he said.

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