Wednesday, 3rd March 2021

Times are good for the owners of South African fruit farmers. South African citrus growers have won greater market access to the US, while Brexit will mean better prospects and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement is on their radar.  

Previously, South African growers were restricted to four ports in the US. But now, following the efforts of industry in collaboration with the US embassy in South Africa and the South African embassy in Washington, domestic growers have access to more ports in the US.

“Until now, we’ve only been able to enter through four ports in the US. That restricts you as to where … [you] can spread your fruit,” Justin Chadwick, the CEO of the Citrus Growers Association, tells The Africa Report.

Furthermore, transport costs and the time taken to get the produce to other states in the US sometimes made it impossible to service other states, according to Chadwick.

“The fact that we can now go into any port opens up the south and the mid-west. We see ports in Georgia and ports in South Carolina probably being the most popular going forward,” explains Chadwick.

The CEO credits growers in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape, who have had access to the US, for the breakthrough. The growers in those two provinces “have been speaking with the port authorities in both Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah Georgia.”

The latest status quo in terms of ports means South African citrus growers will have an opportunity to reach more consumers in the US. In addition, South African growers export’ to the US under the Growth and Opportunity Act duty free.

-Africa Report

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