SA's growing processing sector gives exporters new avenues
The U.S. is hoping to gain a bigger slice of South Africa's growing canned and processing food industry, where suppliers from Europe, Argentina, Brazil and Thailand have traditionally dominated the market.
The sector's sales volumes in October 2011 saw an 8.2% year on-year increase, according to Statistics South Africa.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report has said the industry offers exporters the chance to supply raw materials such as fruit and vegetables, nuts, dairy and meat products to processing factories.
Report author Margaret Ntloedibe, said there were over 1,800 food production companies but the top ten were responsible for 70% of the industry's turnover.
Key players include multinationals like Tiger Brands, AVI, Premier Foods, Pioneer Foods, FoodCorp, First SA Foods, Nestle, Clover SA, Parmalat SA, Rainbow, Kellogg's SA and South African Breweries.
Ntloedibe said key qualities for success in the market would be competitive pricing and consistency in both quality and availability.
U.S. agricultural, fish and forestry exports to South Africa showed a 66% year-on-year increase to US$384 million from January to October 2011, mainly due to an increase of cereal exports.
South Africa's fruit, sugar and wine exports to the U.S. showed a 1.5% year-on-year increase for the same period, reaching US$196 million.