South African citrus growers welcome Thai inspectors

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South African citrus growers welcome Thai inspectors

South Africa hopes it is on the home stretch of a longstanding approval process to export citrus to Thailand again, following visits this week by Thai authorities.

Two inspectors have been looking at farms, cooling facilities and packhouses to check they meet the country's protocol for accepting South African imports after a 13-year gap.

Citrus Growers Association chief executive officer Justin Chadwick, said on two occasions the industry had draft protocols on the table which fell by the wayside when Thailand's leadership changed.

"We are now at that point again – and hope that nothing will prevent finalization of completion of the protocol. We are confident that we can meet all requirements, and that the Thai inspectors will find everything in order," he tells

However, he said while many exporters and importers were keen on trading citrus into Thailand, there was a financial drawback.

"The only dampener on their enthusiasm is the high tariffs applicable to most fresh produce imports into Thailand," he said.

Related stories: SA set to ship citrus to Thailand next season

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