Ben McLeod - Mr Apple

Ben McLeod of Mr Apple will speak at the congress 

The rising cost of international trade will be a key discussion point at the second Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress.

Hosted by the Southern Hemisphere Association for Fresh Fruit Exporters(SHAFFE), the event takes place online on 30 March.

The programme will explore the increasing costs impacting fresh fruit exporters and growers in the region, the opportunities and challenges in mega markets such as India and China, and the current state of play of sustainability requirements in Europe and the US.

The event will also outline the Southern Hemisphere season outlook for 2022/23.

Anton Kruger, CEO of FPEF South Africa, is one of the confirmed panellists. Kruger says spiking costs along the supply chain are a major concern.

“Tripling container rates, increasing costs for services and inputs and the cascading effects of the economic sanctions taken on Russia challenge the long-term economic viability of the Southern Hemisphere fruit sector,” Kruger explained.

Other confirmed speakers include Ben McLeod, sales and marketing director of New Zealand apple grower-packer-exporter Mr Apple, and Jason Bosch, general manager of Origin Direct Asia South Africa.

McLeod and Bosch will share an overview of their companies’ current developments in Asia, while Sumit Saran, director of SS Associates, will provide analysis on the Indian fruit import and retail market.

The congress also homes in on the topic of sustainability.

“The congress is an excellent opportunity to review the opportunities and challenges sustainability represents for Southern Hemisphere fruit production now and for future generations,” said Marta Bentancur, current SHAFFE vice-president and representative of Upefruy - Uruguay.

Participation in the congress is free. Simultaneous translation in Chinese and Spanish will be provided.