Summer Citrus from South Africa's Citrus Arrives in North America
PORT OF PHILADELPHIA, PA - This summer’s citrus hailing all the way from South Africa hit U.S. shores these past couple of weeks, and Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) was there to greet the season’s crop. To find out more about the kick-off of the season on the stateside, I chatted with CEO Suhanra Conradie.
“Quality is good this year with exceptionally good internals and eating quality. We are anticipating overall volume growth for Easy Peelers, Navel oranges, and Star Ruby. Right now, demand is really good, which can be seen by the increased shipments. The vessels departing the weeks of June 18th, July 2nd, and July 17th carried 3,482; 4,482; and 4,567 pallets of fresh citrus, respectively, which will help us meet increased demand from retailers,” Suhanra shared with me.
Suhanra explained how the imported citrus category has grown more than four times in the past 10 years, which means Americans are eating healthier and growing more accustomed to enjoying citrus in the summer. As a result, Suhanra noted that SCSA has molded its strategy to better complement the local production.
“SCSA is known for exceptional eating quality due to the Mediterranean climate, characterized by rainy winters and dry summers. The South African citrus growers are sophisticated at implementing the best international practices on the production side. In addition, the group operates with sophisticated logistics to ensure U.S. consumers can enjoy fresh, sweet, and delicious citrus even in the summer,” Suhanra said. “The dedicated vessels that take our citrus to the Port of Philadelphia form an imperative part of the success of this program.”
As the citrus continues to grow accustomed to their land legs again as they make their way to produce aisles, Suhanra suggested retailers display product in display bins near the front and to take advantage of SCSA’s marketing efforts.
“We have invested in year-round marketing to maintain a relationship with the SCSA consumer. We supply our consumers with recipe inspiration through social media, updates through emails, and inform the trade on crop updates through our trade newsletter, which is distributed every two weeks and includes crop and market updates that are perfect for retailers,” Suhanra told me.
With the imported citrus season just beginning, stick with us at AndNowUKnow as we continue to report on industry happenings.