SHAFFE holds last North America meeting of the year
The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) closed out 2020 with a virtual North American meeting.
The association met with members from various parts of the Southern hemisphere to discuss the year’s market trends as well as developments in the U.S. market brought on by Covid-19.
At the meeting, SHAFFE members reported a trading environment that was ‘smooth and non-restrictive’. Despite the continued effects of the pandemic, North American markets are continuing to show the five percent average growth rate that has been established over the past five years due to high-value imports such as berries, avocados, and table grapes.
The U.S. and Canadian market are important outlets for fresh produce from the Southern Hemisphere, with fruit and vegetables from this part of the world accounting for one-third of U.S. temperate fruit imports with roughly 1.2 million metric tons (MT) and a market value of $3.3 billion, and one-fifth of the Canadian temperate fruit market with roughly 244,000MT worth $550 million.
The meeting also included discussions with respect to investments in improved logistics within the U.S. fruit trade such as the building of new irradiation and cold treatment facilities. This was reportedly well-received by members and will further facilitate fruit supplies in the region.
This was the last of the bi-monthly virtual meetings held in 2020. SHAFFE increased the frequency of meetings with members in response to Covid-19 challenges as a way to improve crisis management and increase the association’s capacity to quickly respond to changes in the trading environment.
According to SHAFFE President Anton Kruger, these frequent meetings have been highly beneficial, stating “During the course of 2020 we have observed increased participation and heightened exchange by all SHAFFE member countries."
"This year SHAFFE has acted as a valuable platform for in-depth discussions on matters such as food safety, sustainability, and importantly the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Moving on into 2021, the organization has stated its goals as being increased activity with sustainability and food safety matters as well as providing Southern Hemisphere exporters with further market intelligence that will help them to navigate changes in trade.