Beth Bechdol FAO

The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (Shaffe) has released more details of its first ever Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress.

The association’s president, Charif Christian Carvajal, said event aims to bring the fruit industries of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere closer together and to allow better planning for the coming year.

The congress will take place on 25 March 2021, with the defining theme of 'Keeping the world supplied' ­ a critical topic thrown into sharp focus in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In honour of the United Nations declaring 2021 the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, Beth Bechdol, deputy director general of the Food And Agriculture Organisation (FAO), will open the conference with a keynote speech on the importance of the Fruit industry to global agri-food systems.

“We are more than honoured to have secured such a high-level speaker for our conference, as this more than ever shows the importance of availability of fruit and vegetables as a key element to global nutrition and a healthy global society,” Carvajal said.

The programme will include targeted market intelligence and discussion on trade flows and figures, crop trends and industry outlooks provided by experienced trade experts from all eight Southern Hemisphere countries.

These include Nathan Hancock from Citrus Australia, Federico Baya from the Argentinian Blueberry Committee, Luiz Eduardo Raffaelli from Abrafrutas, Ignacio Caballero from Asoex, Alan Pollard from New Zealand Apple and Pears, Ricardo Polis from ProCitrus Peru, Prof. Ferdi Meyer from the Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy in South Africa and Carlos Maria Fraschini from Upefruy, Uruguay.

The conference will be held online in two different time slots to facilitate participation of delegates from different parts of the world. The first will be at 11.00am (Central European time) to target Asian and Oceanian trade participants, while the second will be at 5:00pm (Central European time), to allow for the participation of North American, European and Latin American partners.

During this congress, fresh produce professionals will have the opportunity to gather information on crop trends, production prospects and trade flows for the coming year, through the contributions from all Shaffe members and market intelligence on consumer trends by the leading global research agency, Ipsos.

Shaffe was founded in the early 1990s as an exchange network for major Southern Hemisphere temperate fresh fruit exporters and growers.

In total, its member countries represent an export volume of 11m tonnes of fresh fruit, with a market value of US$14bn, and a 25 per cent share of the global produce export market.