The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA) has announced its approval of Hapag-Lloyd’s decision to offer shipping services for citrus exports from Durban and Gqeberha ports.
Chief executive officer of CGA Justin Chadwick said this development, set to commence by the end of May and operates until September, is a positive step for the citrus industry in Southern Africa.
Produce to reach the global market
“The initiative to bring Hapag-Lloyd into the market stems from a collaborative effort initiated by various fresh produce associations, including the CGA, in 2022.
“This effort was prompted by a concerning study conducted by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in the same year, which revealed that a significant portion of citrus growers were operating at a loss, partly due to exorbitant shipping rates,” Chadwick said.
“By facilitating Hapag-Lloyd’s entry, the CGA aims to enhance capacity and introduce healthy competition into the shipping sector, ultimately fostering long-term sustainability for citrus growers.”
Chadwick said recent incidents, such as attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and drought-related issues affecting the Panama Canal, have underscored the vulnerability of fruit exporters to fluctuations in shipping rates.
“The CGA believes that measures promoting stability and competition in the shipping market are essential for safeguarding the interests of the citrus industry and the wider economy.
“Access to shipping is crucial for the citrus industry’s growth, particularly considering the anticipated increase in citrus yield over the coming years. With effective collaboration and streamlined logistics, South Africa aims to boost citrus exports, targeting an additional 20 million 15kg cartons in the upcoming season,” he said.
According to Chadwick, the CGA’s ambitious goal is to export an additional 100 million cartons by 2032, building upon last year’s export figure of 165.1 million cartons.
“The CGA views Hapag-Lloyd’s entry into the market as a significant step towards achieving these objectives and ensuring the competitiveness and sustainability of the Southern African citrus industry,” he said.
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