Summer Citrus from South Africa's Planning Session Leads to Positive 2018 Season
- by Kayla Webb
CITRUSDAL, SOUTH AFRICA - Despite the challenges associated with the drought occurring in the Western Cape, Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) announced the start of what is proving to be a prosperous citrus season.
To support the successful 2018 season, members from across the U.S. and the Western and Northern Cape of South Africa came together in March for the Annual Planning Meeting, hosted by SCSA, to review sales and marketing plans, production volumes, shipping schedules, and category trends.
“The annual planning sessions form a critical part of our forward planning as this is the time when importers, retailers, and growers have the opportunity to exchange information regarding current production and market conditions,” said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa. “Despite the severe drought in the Western Cape, the group estimates to increase volumes to the United States.”
According to a press release, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Gert Kotze announced Johan Mouton is stepping down as Chairman of the Board, introducing Boet Mouton as the next Chairman. Mouton exemplifies a generational change in leadership that the brand is excited about as it continues to be “young enough to change, but old enough to know better,” as explained by Conradie.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous chairmen leadership by bringing new ideas and opportunities to the Board of Directors this season,” said Mouton, Incoming Chairman of the Board. “We have a lot of great work ahead of us, and I look forward to renewal whilst building on the foundation that has been laid.”
DMA Solutions' CEO Dan'l Mackey Almy and Vice President Megan Zweig also presented at the Annual Planning Meeting, discussing the brand’s marketing results from last year’s season. The two also touched on its marketing plan for 2018, including a Sweet Summer Sweepstakes to encourage all ages to enjoy Summer Citrus from South Africa with their favorite summer activities.
Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, also led as keynote speaker, presenting on the importance of retail partnerships, innovation, and opportunities for the brand to grow in the US market.
“It was exciting to learn from this group of top citrus growers the innovations they have planned for upcoming seasons,” Caplan said. “I also encourage retailers to travel to South Africa so they can experience their passion and high quality in person.”
This citrus season is kicking off with Easy Peelers, followed by Navels and Star Rubies, which will start to arrive in containers in the United States towards the end of May, with the first conventional vessel arriving the third week of June at the port of Philadelphia. To produce an increased volume of good looking crop, growers are maximizing their resources, like international best practices, innovation, and the latest technology, to get through the difficulties the weather creates.
Summer Citrus from South Africa is also introducing a bi-weekly trade newsletter, which will include crop updates, availability, promotional efforts, and grower spotlights as a means to keep the U.S. region updated on opportunities for the 2018 SCSA season. To subscribe to the newsletter, please fill out this form or visit www.summercitrus.com for more information.