A recent formed alliance between Fruit South Africa and Mzansi’s berry industry could potentially increase exports to China and a host of other countries over the next decade.
This follows an announcement that the South African Berry Producers’ Association (SABPA) is now represented by leading fruit body organisation Fruit SA. To some, it was a bit of a surprise, after SAPBA ended their relationship with the deciduous fruit industry body, Hortgro, in 2011 establish a new producer organisation.
SABPA’s operational manager Elzette Schutte tells Food For Mzansi that their latest move will benefit the berry industry a great deal. She describes the Fruit SA agreement as an “important step” that will yield great results. “This is where high-level decisions are being made by industry stakeholders, so it is important that the blueberry industry is represented here,” she told foodformzansi.co.za..
Schutte adds that market access remains a top priority for SAPBA, and the association accepts that it cannot be achieved in isolation. To a great degree, through impressive blueberry exports, the industry has already made great strides in global markets.
Schutte says blueberries have the potential to be an even more valuable agricultural product for South Africa in the future. “To position ourselves correctly for this, we want to represent our industry on all the levels needed.”