Fruit exports between South Africa and China are set to get a major boost after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
The MOU was signed by Xiaohu Xu, Vice President of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import & Export of Foodstuffs & Native Produce (CFNA) and Justin Chadwick, chairman of Fruit South Africa.
The agreement will support trade visits between South Africa and China for the representatives of each association, enhance cooperation in the areas of technology exchange and promote information exchange on matters of relevance such as statistics of fruit exports and imports between the two countries, changes in regulatory legislation and customs procedures.
Additionally, both organizations will support each other’s publicity and promotional activities, where appropriate.
Justin Chadwick, chairman of Fruit South Africa, said China offers a major opportunity for further market expansion and the MOU would contribute towards this objective.
“It (the MOU) will serve to promote greater cooperation and the exchange of statistical information between the countries’ fresh fruit industries,” said Chadwick.
“The local industry is aiming to increase its exports to China over the next five years and in this way contribute towards increased jobs in the sector.
“Last year, South Africa exported more than 2.8m tonnes of fresh fruit to overseas markets. However, only a small percentage of these exports went to China. With a population of around 1.38bn and the demand for fresh fruit expected to continue growing over the next few years, China offers a major opportunity for further market expansion.'
The two associations will also nominate a working group to review the effective execution of commitments in the MOU.
“The group will comprise at least one representative from each association and will monitor the implementation of projects and address any issues that may arise from the agreement,” Chadwick added.
The CFNA represents more than 6,800 companies across China, whcih includes some of the largest agricultural companies in the country as well a large number of small and medium enterprises.
“With 44 chambers of commodities, all of which have a nation-wide membership, the CFNA represents all agricultural, forestry, food and farm products such as cereal, oil, oil seed, fresh and processed vegetable and fruit, poultry, meat, seafood and dairy,” Chadwick said.