In March of this year, a consignment of avocados from Tanzania was confiscated at the Beit Bridge border post because an integrated systems approach to controlling fruit flies associated with the commodity in Tanzania was lacking. still been finalized.
“A bilateral verification visit has been confirmed for November 9, 2021, during which the two national plant protection organizations will finalize the bilateral protocol and, among other things, conclude the approval of the integrated systems approach that has been implemented. in place to address specific phytosanitary issues. problems, ”says Marianna Theyse, Managing Director of the Association of Fresh Importers of South Africa.
“Tanzania could take advantage of this meeting to present the phytosanitary measures that are applied in the production areas where the goods will come from, and through the chain of handling, packaging and transport to the point of export, as well as phytosanitary management. procedures where they occur along the chain.
Tanzanian avocados, which have an earlier season than South Africa, would address specific local supply shortages of fresh fruit for consumption (for retailer programs) and fresh fruit for processing (guacamole and oil).
“The Tanzanian avocado is expected to provide good quality fruit in a regional market that may well compete with current imports from countries like Spain and Israel between December and February.”
She added that they hope that the meeting will be a success and that the bilateral phytosanitary agreement will be finalized, which would mean the submission of farms registered and approved by Tanzania and the issuance of import permits by South Africa, before South Africa can start importing avocados from Tanzania.
Processing only currently authorized avos from Mozambique and Zimbabwe
The South African avocado season runs from mid-February to late October or early November, with the majority of fruit harvested from March to September, but local production is not sufficient for the industry. the transformation.
“South Africa only imports during the local season when there is a shortage of supply to meet local availability from countries like Kenya and Chile. Most of our off-season imports (November to February) come from countries like Spain and Israel. Currently, South Africa imports approximately 388,000 kg of fresh avocados for annual out-of-season consumption from Kenya, Spain and Israel. “
She continues: “Importers who supply the processing industry can also import fruit intended for processing only from Mozambique and Zimbabwe at this stage. “
These avocados certified for processing enter the country in sealed containers, directly to facilities approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development where they are processed and waste is carefully destroyed to contain any risk. phytosanitary.
“With climate variability, our production may drop in some years, for example in 2021 when the cold of September 2020 affected flowering and caused weaker fruit set and excessive rains in January and February 2021 which negatively affected production. “
For more information:
Association of Fresh Produce Importers of South Africa
Phone: +27 12 667 1871