Transformation goals set by South African stone and pome fruit producers
FRESH PLAZA / 21 JANUARY 2021 - 13.22 / STAFF REPORTER
Members of the South African stone and pome fruit industry have made a collective pledge, along with other South African fruit organisations, to set ambitious agri-transformation goals that will bring the industry together.
Hortgro, the organisation which represents South Africa’s stone and pome fruit growers, develops the plum, peach, nectarine, apple and pear categories in the UK through their integrated marketing initiative, which is now in its 13th year.
At the end of October 2020, representatives from Hortgro Pome, Stone and the DFDC (South Africa’s first black fruit producer organisation) came together with the aim to align the industry strategy and to develop “an implementable, measurable, and future-focused transformation strategy and blueprint for the DFI that is equitable, fair and just for all”.
Hortgro Executive Director, Anton Rabe, comments: “The environment in which we operate is constantly changing. We had to revisit the previous strategic goals and objectives to ensure that they are still aligned and relevant to the latest challenges and industry realities.”
Rabe adds: “If we want to grow our industry, stay economically competitive and change the participation in the value chain of those previously disadvantaged to do so, it is vital that we as a commodity body engage with outside stakeholders and speak from one mouth to the benefit of the whole industry.”
The transformation goals set by the collective Deciduous Fruit industry include: a new criterion for monitoring transformation progress, a multi-media strategy for communicating the USPs of the Deciduous Fruit Industry, a plan to identify and assist new and existing black agri-entrepreneurs to become successful agri-businesses, and finally, the identification of successful business models for the industry’s value chain.
It is currently predicted that by the end of the 2020/21 stone fruit season, the industry will have seen a 9% increase in South African nectarine exports, an 11% increase for peaches, and a staggering 25% increase for South African plums, compared to last year. The increased volumes are mainly driven by young orchards coming into production and more favourable weather conditions.
Collaboration with retailers has been one of the main focuses of this year’s campaign, which will see on-pack labels, branded instore promotions and digital advertisements on various UK retailer websites, alongside social media activity.
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