Record setting South Africa table grape season “not business as usual”
The South Africa Table Grape Industry association (SATI) says that the 2021-22 season “will definitely go down as one of the most challenging seasons for our industry”, due to the perfect storm of conditions affecting its shipments and costs, and also is shaping up to be a record harvest and export crop as well.
According to a statement, SATI said that external factors weighing into its seasonal results are both local and international logistical challenges, cost inflation related to growing inputs, plus the Russia invasion of Ukraine.
The association said that it has been in touch with port authorities on behalf of growers, and welcomed plans from political leaders to address port related issues.
The SATI recently met with The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza to discuss measures that the government could take to improve conditions for table grape growers.
The season had gotten off to a slow start, but now is ramping up considerably. As per its harvests, as of week 11 intake has reached 74.6 million 4.5kg cartons, 9 percent above the harvest level last year. Exports for the season thus far have totaled 62.95 million cartons, a 1 percent increase over the export figure at this point last year.
As in last season, just over half of its exports have been sent to the E.U., and the breakdown of exports looks similar to as in past years, albeit with a 21 percent thus far to Russia.