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In-transit cold sterilisation is good news

Since the beginning of 2022, South Africa has exported more than 2.5 million boxes of apples and pears to India, and the demand is increasing year-on-year, says Hortgro.

According to Hortgro, apple varieties such as Royal Gala, Bigbucks, and Top Red have remained favourites, while for pears, Packham’s Triumph, Vermont Beauty, and Forelle have been the most popular.

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, South Africa’s largest exporter of apples and pears, says the recent announcement by the Government of India approving in-transit cold treatment for South African apple and pear exports to India is good news. 

According to Hortgro’s General Manager for Trade and Markets, Jacques du Preez, South African suppliers and Indian importers stand to benefit. “With the in-transit cold treatment procedure, I believe the suppliers and the Indian importers both stand to benefit as the transit time reduces considerably. South African apples and pears have received a phenomenal response from Indian consumers, and we believe that the volume will rise significantly due to this announcement.”

Pienaar explains that the change involved going from a land-based, to an on-board sterilisation process.  This will free up at least two to three weeks which is crucial in ensuring the quality of the product arriving in India.  Pienaar says, “Although India is still a relatively small market for us we are excited about the prospects of growing our footprint in India with its population of close to 1,3 billion people. This is definitely a step in the right direction in order to aggressively grow this market.”

Hortgro says that among the advantages of the cold treatment of the products in-transit is that better quality and fresher fruit arrives at the destination country. This change in the process allows shippers to increase the length of the season and consumers to get fresher fruit.

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