Overview of the SA Fruit Industry
Food Safety Systems for Export
KB Liphadzi
CEO: Fruit SA
Background of Fruit SA
FSA was established in the early 2000’s as an umbrella organisation for the different
fruit sectors.
Initially FSA operated without any staffing and as an informal body.
In 2013 Fruit South Africa was formalised as a not for profit company.
In 2014 the first CEO FSA was appointed.
• History of fresh fruit production and export dates back
to the mid 17th century.
• 1st export to England was in the end of the 19th
century, made possible with improved plant material
from USA and improved refrigeration technology.
• Inspection of all export fruit was made compulsory in
1914 through in terms of the Fruit Export Act.
• The deregulation of the fresh fruit industry in 1997
ushered a new era of free enterprise marketing.
• The Deciduous Fruit Producer’s Trust (now Hortgro)
and Citrus Grower’s Association were born.
SA fruit industry statistics
• Fruit industry is valued at more than R24 billion with
more than 4.4 million tons of fruit produced annually.
• SA is a major supplier of fresh fruit in the Southern
and nuts
Table grapes
SA fruit industry statistics
SA fruit industry statistics
• More than 50% of all agricultural exports from South
Africa are fresh fruit.
• Majority of SA fresh fruit is exported.
• 2.7 million tons of fruit is exported to more than 87
countries in the world annually, earning R19.8 billion in
foreign currency.
• Major export destinations: EU, UK, Far East, Russia,
Middle East, USA/Canada
South African fruit export markets (volume
in 2013)
Russia 9%
Food safety
• SA fruit industry has to meet the challenge of
increasing demand by consumers for healthy and safe
food (especially overseas).
• Food safety is not static.
• Requires all players involved along the food chain
(food producers, processors, retailers and households)
to recognize their primary responsibility and to share a
common goal: ensure safe food at all steps of the
From harvest to home: product chain
Food safety
Guiding principles
• Quality standards, product protocols, laws and
– Food safety is a shared responsibility between DAFF, DoH
and DTI
• Transparency
– Builds consumer’s confidence in the safety and quality of
food supply
– Improved communication of food safety
information(science based information)
• Traceability
– Keeping record of all operations/inputs during production
– Allows tracing back source of contamination or disease
Responsible institutions for food quality
and safety
Checklist and Compliance criteria
Assignee to
perform endpoint
food safety
auditing and
• GAP – to meet consumer needs for safe and high quality
products, produced in an environmentally friendly and social
responsible manner.
• Most importing countries have established Maximum Residue
Levels (MRLs) for various pesticides used during fruit
• Compliance to the MRL is a prerequisite to market access.
Producers are required to keep all records.
– PPECB has been delegated to test MRLs
• The ability to trace produce back to origin is an important
component of food safety system.
– Speed and accuracy is important.
– Mandatory marking requirements in terms of Agricultural
Products Standards Act 119 of 1990.
Packaging / Processing
• Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) provide the
basic environment and conditions for packaging or
processing a safe product.
– Include - packhouse sanitation to prevent and
eliminate product contamination
– Conditions and practices are specified in the Health
Act of 1977
• HACCP implementation – systematic approach in
identifying, evaluation and control of food hazards in
the process flow of the product.
• Basic requirements should be met – i.e. prevent:
– mechanical damage to fruit and its packaging,
– contamination (odours, pests or bacteria),
– damp conditions,
– fruit pulp temperature increase (quality and shelf
• PPECB tests the performance and efficiency of locally
build refrigerated vehicles.
• Complete and correct documentation should
accompany the consignment.
Product security/integrity, storage
control and traceability
• Specific storage conditions depend on the fruit kind,
e.g. avocadoes can no be stored with bananas.
• Only PPECB certified cold stores can be used.
• Special export markets have written government-togovernment protocols (only allow for use of certain
facilities in the country).
Private standards
Private standards in general goes beyond relevant Codex standards. This
may lead to unnecessary barriers to trade.
Cost of compliance is high, specifically for first time participants. High costs
are associated with auditing multiple private standards.
Multiple standards do affect the profitability of small holder farmers and
their ability to comply – resulting in exclusion from export market.
If relevant private standards are demanded, the entire supply chain must
meet the standard, including on-farm/ packing and related off-farm packing
Most EU countries require GLOBALGAP, GMP, HACCP and BRC Global
Standards - all exporters and growers (suppliers – small, medium, large)
exporting products to the EU need to comply.
Role of government
• DAFF determines whether agricultural produce may be
exported from SA or not.
• PPECB is the assignee who certify that the produce
satisfies the market requirements.
• DAFF’s role is essential in ensuring retention of market
• Government have set a minimum quality standard/
benchmark for every fruit kind.
• The exporter may apply to use different standards to
those prescribed by government.
• Phytosanitary measures are sometimes used as non-tariff
barriers to trade. - CBS case (Minister Davies), cold
sterilization, etc.
• Government policies that can inhibit competitiveness (selfimposed limitations).
• Capacity within government to implement the various
regulations and effectively monitor throughout the value
chain (right people, right skills, right placing, adequate
numbers, etc.).
• Within the country, relevant and reliable infrastructure in
terms of rail, road, ports, pack houses, storage facilities, port
facilities etc. are required to support the fruit value chain.
• Delays in releasing containers by importing countries – 4 days
instead on 1 day.
Challenges with Private Standards
• Lack of harmonisation/ equivalence between multiple
private standards and between private standards and
official standards resulting in multiple audit
requirements (certification) by suppliers.
• Lack of (inadequate/ limited) scientific justification for
many private standards requirements (non-regulatory
MRL requirements), going beyond regulatory
requirements e.g Germany.
• Number of private standards are too many and
growing, becoming unsustainable for suppliers.
• Cost of compliance is high and increasing.
Thank you
Lindi – Hortgro & SATI
Schubesco - PPECB
Andy – Dole
Paul - CGA
Fruit SA Contact details
Dr Konanani Liphadzi
Tel: 012 433 6422
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.fruitsa.co.za

Fruit industry SA-NZ workshop1 - Food Safety Systems for Export