Positive season expected for Summer Citrus from South Africa
Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) has announced the start of what is hoped to be a prosperous season despite difficulties with the Western Cape drought.
Growers have been able to maximize their resources to produce an increased volume with a good looking crop, using international best practices, innovation and the latest technology.
In March, members from across the U.S. and South Africa's Western and Northern Capes came together for the Annual Planning Meeting, hosted by SCSA, to review sales and marketing plans, production volumes, shipping schedules, and category trends.
"The annual planning sessions form a critical part of our forward planning as this is the time when importers, retailers and growers have the opportunity to exchange information regarding current production and market conditions. Despite the severe drought in the Western Cape, the group estimates to increase volumes in the U.S.," said SCSA CEO Suhanra Conradie.
Easy peelers, followed by Navels and Star Rubies, will start to arrive in containers in the U.S. by the end of May, with the first conventional vessel arriving the third week of June at Philadelphia.
In the meeting, it was announced Johan Mouton would be stepping down as chairman of the board, to be replaced by Boet Mouton.
Conradie described this as a "generational change in leadership that the brand is very excited about as it continues to be 'young enough to change, but old enough to know better".
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous chairmen leadership by bringing new ideas and opportunities to the board of directors this season. We have a lot of great work ahead of us and I look forward to renewal whilst building on the foundation that been laid," said Boet Mouton.
DMA Solutions presented the brand's marketing results from last year's season, as well as the 2018 marketing plan which included a Sweet Summer Sweepstakes, encouraging all ages to enjoy Summer Citrus from South Africa with their favorite summer activities.
Karen Caplan, CEO of Frieda's Speciality Produce, also led as keynote speaker about the importance of retail partnerships, innovation, and the opportunities for the brand to grow in the US market.
"It was exciting to learn from this group of top citrus growers the innovations they have planned for upcoming seasons. I also encourage retailers to travel to South Africa so they can experience their passion and high quality in person," Caplan said.
The brand will also be sending a bi-weekly trade newsletter to include crop updates, availability, promotional efforts and grower spotlights to ensure the U.S. is updated on opportunities for the 2018 SCSA season.