South Africa: U.S.-oriented citrus group eyes Midwest expansion
With the first South African citrus shipment to the U.S. this season due to arrive in the coming days, expectations are for a modest increase in volumes and further expansion into the Midwest.
The first consignment from the group Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA), a consortium of some 300 growers eligible to export to the U.S., is set to arrive in the Port of Philadelphia on June 24.
The group was formerly known as the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF)
The arrival date would put it on par with previous years.
SCSA CEO Suhanra Conradie said while logistical considerations meant export volumes were focused on the East Coast, more fruit would likely be shipped into Texas this campaign.
"We hope to expand a little bit into Texas and a little bit more into the Midwest," she told www.freshfruitportal.com.
"When you talk about expansion we traditionally ship to the East Coast because of the logistics involved with this program. But we started with a pilot program of containers into Houston two years ago, and it grew. The same way as we are growing moderately, and our expectation is that direct shipments to Houston will also increase."
"Any growth planned into the U.S. with be moderate, in consideration that our business model is one of managing supply and demand."
The representative also expected a 'seemless transition' from U.S. supplies to South African citrus this year, as the fruit enters the market over the next several weeks.
Promotional activities will be carried out this season with four of SCSA's primary importers, Capespan, DNE, AMC, and Seald Sweet.
The organization's Summer Citrus from South Africa brand has also recently received an image revamp, which Conradie said gave a 'new vibrant look'.
Condarie will be attending the United Fresh trade show in Chicago next week with some of the South African growers.