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[Press Release] S. Hemisphere Fruit Trade Congress Highlighted SHAFFE Key Priorities

March 31, 2021

Produce Report was proud to be an official media partner of the first Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress, the full video webinar recording of which is now available on the SHAFFE website.

This content has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content and style, as well as to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

The Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress organized by the Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) with the defining theme “Keeping the World Supplied” took place virtually on March 25, 2021. With 615 registered participants from all over the world and two sessions for convenient dial-in from different time zones, the first annual congress achieved an exceptional outreach.

Starting with a keynote speech by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Deputy Director General Beth Bechdol highlighting the importance of the support of the fresh fruit industry to the U.N. General Assembly’s designation of 2021 as the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, at the heart of the conference program was the outlook and review provided by current SHAFFE President Charif Christian Carvajal from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX). Carvajal highlighted SHAFFE’s key areas of activity, including strengthening the organization’s resource availability, supporting the training of fresh produce industry professionals, modernizing information systems and collaborating with like-minded trade organizations and international public entities to create common grounds of dialogue and exchange. The outlook was accompanied by an extensive panel discussion moderated by SHAFFE Secretary General Nelli Hajdu, who was joined by eight thought leaders from the various Southern Hemisphere countries.

The SHAFFE congress was also the scene for the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CCCFNA). The Chinese market has become an important outlet for Southern Hemisphere traders, the value of which has grown by 90% over the past five years.

The Southern Hemisphere looks back on a very good 2020 season despite COVID-19 creating challenges in terms of both production and trade. With a decrease of 8% in volume but a continued increase of 5% in value in 2020 (9.8 million tons, $14.6 billion), Southern Hemisphere traders managed to secure a continuous fruit supply in 2020. The outlook was followed by a panel discussion with thought leaders from the eight SHAFFE member countries, highlighting the state of play in their respective industries, capitalizing on their key individual strengths from investment in organic to an emphasis on varietal diversification and/or meeting consumer demand for food safety.

The congress additionally showcased contributions from SHAFFE’s partner organizations, including the CCCFNA, Freshfel Europe, British Summer Fruits, the U.S. Produce Marketing Association, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the International Federation for Produce Standards, hence wrapping up a variety of tasks and challenges for the interconnected global fruit sector.

Image: SHAFFE

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