South Africa’s fruit growing industry needs the support of logistics companies and networks to stay alive during times of deflated returns on export fruit sales, escalating production costs, and inefficiency and ineffectiveness at regional ports, according to a letter
from Justin Chadwick, the chairman of Fruit South Africa (FSA).
The letter, sent to registered attendees and presenters of the Cool Logistics Africa conference in Cape Town later this month, asks the perishable logistics and transportation groups to rise to these challenges and give support to South Africa’s fruit growers and exporters.
“Let’s preserve this industry’s 100 year old heritage and safeguard it for the next generation,” writes Chadwick. “Let’s face the challenges together in a united and positive manner.”
Chadwick warned that if current difficulties continue, the growers will continue to be hit hard and that this will extend to the 400,000 farm workers and their families.
“We understand the competitive nature of those in the export chain, but everyone shares the frustration about the current inefficiencies. We shouldn't shrug our shoulders and accept the fact that the losses from inefficiency will just get passed on over the farm gate,” he said.
The FSA and its partners will use the upcoming conference to highlight concerns and suggested solutions for both local and international logistics service. Chadwick said one goal for the conference is to develop a level of business sustainability for all the partners involved.