For the first season ever, Cape citrus growers can have their fruit destined for Japan inspected and loaded in their own provinces.
Previously, citrus for Japan had to be transported from the Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, where two facilities in Durban were approved to inspect and load all of the South African citrus for Japan.
“Being able to now do it in the Cape makes a big difference,” says Boet Mouton, director at Mouton Citrus in Citrusdal. “It saves us a lot of time and strongly reduces our risk. All of the infrastructure is here to do it and it puts our market access to Japan on a much more sustainable footing.”
Mitchell Brooke, logistics manager at the Citrus Growers’ Association, points out that grapefruit growers along the Orange River in the Northern Cape could also benefit from this development. Sending fruit destined for Japan to Durban has presented an obstacle to Northern Cape grapefruit growers and impeded trade, although some did go this very expensive route two years ago.
Shipments to South Korea, predominantly grapefruit, still have to go through Durban facilities.
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