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South African Table Grape Industry Celebrates Successful 2022/23 China Campaign Launch

March 28, 2023

On Friday, March 24, South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) celebrated its successful 2022/23 China Market Development Campaign launch at Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui wholesale fruit market. Joining hands at the event were representatives of the South African Embassy in China, South Africa’s Western Cape Government and leading Chinese fresh fruit importer Goodfarmer.

Along with China’s unprecedented period of growth and economic development, consumers increasingly expect to be able to purchase high-quality and nutritious fresh fruit throughout the year. Table grapes have long been a favorite fruit in China and consumers are eager to sample new varieties in novel shapes and colors that are sweeter and crisper than ever before.

A diversity of supply regions is especially important for table grapes, which are a perishable product that must be delivered to market and consumed within a relatively short time window. As a counter-seasonal fruit producer located in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa stands ready to serve China’s market demands.

 

This season, South African table grape exporters have cooperated to deliver a 2022/23 campaign in China that consisted of a focused approach to achieve shorter transit times and a narrower arrival window with cultivars preferred by consumers in China. This focused supply strategy has been bolstered with concurrent promotional activities by table grape importers and retailers in China that include Friday’s wholesale market event, media outreach, and retail events and promotions in multiple Chinese cities.

“We are thrilled to execute our China Campaign this season and continue building relationships with the fruit industry in China,” said SATI chief executive officer AJ Griesel. “The lifting of epidemic controls in China means we can once again hold in-person events with traders such as today’s event in Guangzhou. It also means the return of in-store promotions for consumers. We welcome more people having the opportunity to experience the quality table grapes South Africa has to offer. South Africa furthermore looks forward to hosting industry delegates from around the world at the 10th International Table Grape Symposium taking place from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, 2023.”

“South Africa has footprints on table grapes in many countries around the world, including the EU, UK, USA and Canada,” said Molatelo Mamadi, agriculture counsellor at the South African Embassy in Beijing, who spoke at the event in Guangzhou. “All these countries hold South African table grapes in the highest regard for their premium quality and compliance with export standards applicable to those markets. South Africa has been exporting table grapes to China for several years and is running this campaign for the third year in a row, with its table grapes currently enjoying status for their good quality and sweet taste.”

The 2022/23 South African table grape season has almost concluded. To date, the industry has exported 61.3 million cartons (4.5 kilogram equivalent) or 275,850 metric tons of table grapes. By the end of the season, it is anticipated that South Africa will have exported approximately 63 million cartons or 283,500 metric tons of the fruit worldwide.

South African table grapes are grown on approximately 20,000 hectares of land in five key growing regions spread across the country. The diversity of soils and climates enables South Africa to supply international markets with a wide array of the latest table grape varieties from November to May. 

During the last two seasons, the most popular cultivars exported to China were Crimson Seedless, Autumn Crisp, Sweet Globe and Sweet Joy. Many table grape varieties that are growing in popularity in China are also seeing increasing production in South Africa, which sets the stage for further growth of South African table grapes in the China market during the years to come.

Images: SATI

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