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Newsletter 1


Sixteen years after Thailand banned the import of South African deciduous fruit, due to an administrative error, negotiations are progressing in the right direction.

At the time of the imposition of the ban on the exportation of South African fresh produce including table grapes, apples, pears, and stone fruit the market had a value of some US$6.7 million (2008).

Local stakeholders have high hopes after inspectors from Thailand’s Department of Agriculture, recently arrived in South Africa on a 12-day visit to assess local production conditions with the aim of possibly re-opening the export market for South African apples.

The officials conducted orchard and packhouse inspections as one of the last steps for the South African apple industry to regain access to Thailand. The delegation was accompanied by officials from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the PPECB and Hortgro.

During the first week, the group visited orchards and packhouses in the EGVV and Ceres production areas, followed by similar site visits to the Langkloof. Also, on the itinerary were visits to cold stores and container depots.

According to Jacques du Preez, Hortgro’s General Manager of Trade and Markets, there is still some work that needs to be done before concluding the process. “South African apple growers and exporters are excited and looking forward to the prospects of exporting our delicious apples to Thailand once again and strengthening trade relations between the two countries.”


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