Strategic partnership to increase table grape exports to China

table grape export
Minister Ivan Meyer picks a bunch of Crimson seedless grapes with farm manager, Nico Erasmus.

Over the past two weeks, Western Cape table grape producers have started harvesting. These grapes are to be marketed under the South African Table Grape Industry’s (Sati) China Market Development Campaign in March 2021.

The campaign is a strategic partnership between the table grape industry and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and aims to increase market access for table grape producers.

From the left are minister Ivan Meyer and Clayton Swart of Sati with the cartons for the China Market Development Campaign.

“One of my ministerial priorities is market access. The strategic partnership with Sati is aligned to this. The aim is to increase exports of Western Cape agricultural produce by 5% over the next five years,” says minister Ivan Meyer.

A welcome boost for the table grape industry

Sati’s communications manager, Clayton Swart, says they look forward to promoting South African table grapes.

“We are very excited. Sati plans a major marketing campaign in China in March 2021, targeting China’s wholesale and retail markets. Sati’s transformation unit has also worked hard to prepare table grape producers to participate in the China campaign,” says Swart.

From the left are table grape farmer, Robin Johnson, and minister Ivan Meyer.

One such exporter, supported by both the WCDoA and Sati, is Warren Bam, who farms in Saron. Bam produces organic table grapes, which he exports to the United Kingdom, European Union, and North America. Now, he will be able to expand to the Chinese market.

During a recent visit to another exporter, Robin Johnson, minister Meyer highlighted the vital role the export market plays in the recovery of the Western Cape’s economy.

“The table grape industry, which employs 40 000 people, is an essential sub-sector of the Western Cape’s agricultural economy. Growing the export market is inextricably linked to economic recovery in the Western Cape,” says minister Meyer. “The WCDoA has partnered with Sati to increase exports estimated at 15 750 tons in the 2020/21 season.”

“Growing the export market by 5% over the next five years will create 19 000 jobs.” – Press release, Western Cape minister of agriculture