Fruit SA Market Development

By Dr Mono Mashaba, Specialist Consultant: Market Development

Dialogue with officials in targeted markets in the East (September/October 2023) 

An industry delegation made use of the time in the East, before and after Asia Fruit Logistica, to visit Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan to continue market access discussions.

Support from DALRRD (Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development), and the South African embassies in all the visited countries certainly

contributed to the success of the visits. Engagements with regulatory authorities yielded the desired outcome, imparting insight into the changing environment of market access negotiations, which is key for achieving the GRO (Grow, Retain and Optimisation) objectives of the fruit industry. The respective NPPOs (National Plant Protection Organisations) of Vietnam, South Korea and Japan shared vital information regarding efficiency-boosters in PRA (pest risk analysis) processes, as well as important references/standards used in decision-making in market access applications. Expediting the processing of market access applications in South Africa to accommodate the dynamism in these markets, is vital.

All the NPPOs in the visited countries indicated that they have prioritised the finalisation of protocols currently being negotiated (oranges in Vietnam, table grapes in South Korea, and avocados in Japan), pending consensus on and finalisation of outstanding technical matters and regulatory processes with NPPOZA.

It’s critical for South African market access applications to be accompanied by a tailored negotiation strategy and tactics, aligned to the targeted export destination. And closer collaboration between DALRRD and industry R&D capacity is required regarding fruit pest and diseases management research. This will elevate the position of South Africa in influencing the setting of ISPMs (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) in international forums.

The attendance of DALRRD Director of Biosecurity Dr Ntshabele contributed significantly to the effectiveness of discussions with the NPPOs of the importing countries. The industry looks forward to his accompaniment on future market access visits of this nature, to help ensure that the desired objectives are met.