A seamless process from planting to harvesting, packing and efficient delivery in customer-centric packaging are among the strong selling points that SAFE marketing manager, Wibo van den Ende, will discuss to clinch export deals when he visits Fruit Attraction in Madrid Spain in October.
“It is a great platform to showcase our harvests – particularly grapes,” said Wibo. “In the space of a few days I will be able to talk about SAFE to key global buyers from Europe, Middle East, Asia and Russia.”
“SAFE are the only grower/exporter in Southern Africa to be able to supply – for the first time ever – buyers with complete season of Fairtrade accredited table grapes.”
Buoyed by the positive response he received to SAFE products from key buyers on a trip to Europe earlier this year, Wibo is cautiously optimistic of new export contracts being signed in Madrid.
“We have been hard at work to ensure SAFE compliance to global standards at all levels of our process from management to planting, harvesting and production. Strict adherence to high standards of compliance such as Fairtrade and SIZA is critical to the buyers from supermarket chains whom we will meet in Madrid.” said Wibo.
“There is no doubt that being in control of the entire production chain, where we have checks and balances in place all along the way acts in our favour with buyers.”
Wibo said that Germany, the UK and France remain the major buyers of South African grapes, with Asia and markets in the Middle East on the rise.
SAFE was fortunate that the drought had not had an impact on grape harvests in the Northern and Western Cape. There is more of a problem with drought in Limpopo where the company grows citrus and litchis.
Nevertheless, it is not all plain sailing in the fruit exporting business.
“Our products depend on weather and we have a few months to go until our grape harvest, but all going well, I am confident that we will be able to deliver on our promises to buyers in all our markets.
“There is also no doubt that step-by-step SAFE is gaining ground in all our major markets. This is good news in terms of the investment we have earmarked to continue to grow our business and return profit to our employees, particularly the farmworkers upon whom we depend for our success.”
Fairtrade was set up to create fairer partnerships in supply chains. It means a better deal for producers and workers – for instance through ‘minimum price guarantees’ and the ‘Fairtrade premium’, which can be used to invest in local infrastructure, healthcare or social projects. It gives consumers a direct way to help reduce poverty around the world. – see http://www.fairtrade.net