Tumelo Waga Dibakwane
Delegates from South African companies comprising 22 firms and three industry associations have yesterday arrived in Berlin, Germany on a mission to position the country as the fruit and vegetable supplier of choice at the Fruit Logistica Trade Fair that will be taking place from 6-8 February 2019.
The companies will be showcasing the finest fruits and vegetables at the South African Pavilion that will be hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The director of export promotion at dti Luke Govender says the mission is solidified by virtue of a public-private partnership arrangement that consisting of the dti, the Fresh Produce Exporter’s Forum, Fruit South Africa, the Perishable Products Exports Control Board and the Agricultural Research Council that have collaborated in order to enhance South Africa’s export of fruit and vegetables into the European regional market.
“Our value proposition is essentially the opportunity of counter seasonality and the sectoral comparative advantages that we have as a country. We will also be leveraging the opportunities presented in the Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA) whereby improved market access into the European Union has been granted for more than 30 products, particularly the agricultural products,” says Govender.
The Industry Affairs Manager at Fruit South Africa (FruitSA), which is a non-profit organisation registered as an umbrella for different fruit associations, Vuyolwethu Gxotiwe said that her main reasons for showcasing at Fruit Logistica were linked to trade promotion, the strengthening of current trade ties and the absorption and learning of new techniques.
The Fruit Logistica Berlin, which is regarded as the world’s leading international trade fair for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, covers every sector of the international fruit and vegetable supply chain from production, distribution and marketing, through to the point of sale including global players as well as small and medium-sized suppliers from all around the world.