Summer Citrus from South Africa arrives on the East Coast
Summer Citrus from South Africa has reached the ‘good part’ of the season with vessels carrying fruit mainly arriving on the East Coast and some expected volumes to make their way to the midwest and southern states later this season.
The arrival of the first conventional South African vessel has traditionally been a big celebration and something the group had hoped to return to this season. Thankfully, for the first time in two years, the company was able to toast the arrival of its first vessel in Philadelphia back in June!
At the celebration, Leo Holt, President of freight transportation and logistics service Holt Logistics Group said: “We’re promising this to be a great season to bring fresh product into our marketplace and distribute it throughout the U.S.”
At the end of week 28, Summer Citrus from South Africa had packed 55 percent of its 2022 crop, with 45 percent already shipped in the form of 7 conventional vessels plus containers.
The remaining portion of the crop was shipped in containers with 9,000 pallets arriving in New York, making a stop in Packer Avenue, PA, and several containers planned to reach Savannah, GA, and Houston, TX. Notably last month, Summer Citrus from South Africa discharged the largest conventional vessel it has ever shipped that accounted for 7,500 pallets.
For the remainder of the season, Summer Citrus from South Africa will continue to send weekly conventional vessels and containers in-between to meet the demand of the market. In terms of shipped volumes, the company’s fruit basket offers 47 percent Easy Peelers, 42 percent Navel Oranges, 8 percent Star Ruby and 3 percent Cara-Cara.
“Our sophisticated summer citrus business model is all about managing supply and demand,” described Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa. “There’s a window of opportunity and we work very closely with our U.S. service providers, importers and retailers to really determine that window,” she explained.
Erin Meder, General Manager USA of Capespan, one of North America's leading importers and marketers of fresh fruit, said: “The collaborative model that the South African growers operate under is very cohesive. Growers remain autonomous and it’s very competitive, but they collaborate and work together to solve industry wide issues,” she continued.
Likewise, Chris Cockle, who is Senior Director of Import and Sales at Wonderful Citrus praised Summer Citrus from South Africa’s “balanced approach of how it gets fruit to the marketplace,” highlighting that this works better than all other Southern Hemisphere countries that his company imports from.
Suhanra Conradie expressed her content about where the company currently stands with its program: “I’m very happy with the real time communication system we have in place. I think we have a great group of people involved to really make the necessary adjustments and to execute this program with excellence.”