On Friday, March 24, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) celebrated a successful 2022/2023 China Market Development Campaign launch at Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui wholesale fruit market. Joining hands at the event were representatives of the South African Embassy in China, South Africa’s Western Cape Government, and leading Chinese fresh fruit importer Goodfarmer.
Marguerite Wang, General Manager of Shanghai Goodfarmer Pitaya Co., Ltd. and Molatelo Mamadi, Counsellor: Agriculture at the South African Embassy, Beijing.
Table grapes have long been a favourite fruit in China and consumers are eager to sample new varieties in novel shapes and colors that are sweeter and crisper than ever before. A diversity of supply regions is especially important for table grapes. As a counter-seasonal fruit producer located in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa stands ready to serve China’s market demands.
This season, South African table grape exporters have cooperated to deliver a 2022/2023 campaign in China that consisted of a focused approach to achieve shorter transit times and a narrower arrival window with cultivars preferred by consumers in China. This focused supply strategy has been bolstered with concurrent promotional activities by table grape importers and retailers in China that include Friday’s wholesale market event, media outreach, and retail events and promotions in multiple Chinese cities.
SATI CEO AJ Griesel delivers a video greeting to the audience in Guangzhou.
SATI chief executive officer AJ Griesel said: “We are thrilled to execute our China Campaign this season and continue building relationships with the fruit industry in China. The lifting of epidemic controls in China means we can once again hold in-person events with traders such as the launch event in Guangzhou. It also means the return of in-store promotions for consumers. South Africa furthermore looks forward to hosting industry delegates from around the world at the 10th International Table Grape Symposium taking place from 26 Nov. to 1 Dec. 2023.”
Molatelo Mamadi, agriculture counsellor at the South African Embassy in Beijing, who spoke at the event in Guangzhou said: “South Africa has footprints on table grapes in many countries around the world. All these countries hold South African table grapes in the highest regard for their premium quality and compliance with export standards applicable to those markets. South Africa has been exporting table grapes to China for several years and is running this campaign for the third year in a row, with its table grapes currently enjoying status for their good quality and sweet taste.”
The season has almost concluded. To date, the industry has exported 61.3 million cartons (4.5 kg equivalent) or 275,850 metric tons of table grapes. By the end of the season, it is anticipated that South Africa will have exported approximately 63 million cartons (4.5 kg equivalent) or 283,500 metric tons of the fruit worldwide.
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