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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

South Africa: new market trends in Europe

Changing demands in the European market are prompting the fruit export business in South Africa’s Western Cape province to shift its commercial focus slightly and invest in new varieties to keep up with trends, according to several of the country’s leading industry figures. In particular, the industry appears to be playing a more active role in establishing what exactly consumers in key markets require, using the information it gleans to make informed investments in production and new product development. “We’re working more closely now with importers and retailers – especially in Germany – to explain the kind of quality we want to see in the market,” says Jacques du Preez, product manager at national deciduous fruit association Hortgro. “In the past, we were told what the consumer wanted. Now, we talk to consumers and have a much better idea.” The success of a recent campaign to promote South African produce in the UK under the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit slogan seems to have had a knock-on effect as retailers in other parts of Europe become aware of the higher returns that can be generated from such intensive and sustained promotion of the country of origin.