The local berry industry might be small compared to other local fruit industries (total exports currently amount to approximately 6 500t compared to over 200 000t for table grapes and about 300 000t for apples per year), but like the berries, the industry makes up in vibrancy what it lacks in size.
Through the formation of the South African Berry Producers Association, producers will now be able to address common challenges for the benefit of its members. In addition, the industry has become more organised and is able to focus on strategic objectives to create a more prosperous industry.
The objectives of the Association are as follows:
- To ensure an economically viable and sustainable berry industry via coordinated joint actions as agreed from time to time.
- To establish uniform grading regulations for berries produced in South Africa.
- To liaise with other berry groups locally and internationally to exchange information of mutual benefit.
- To look at ways of promoting sales and consumption of berries on the local and export markets.
- To facilitate relevant research in the berry industry.
- To liaise with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, other government departments and industry stakeholders.
- To collect and share relevant industry information.
The Executive Committee members are:
Tiaan Steyl (Chairperson)
Johan le Roux