South Africa

Berries ZA launches its first trade-focused campaign in Germany

Berries South Africa (Berries ZA), the sector association for South African blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, is running a B2B promotional campaign for blueberries, targeting key players in the sector in Germany ahead of the Fruit Logistics.

The integrated public relations and marketing campaign aims to showcase the unique value propositions of South African blueberries, including high quality, excellent flavor profiles, well-established infrastructure and logistics, and closer to market than other leading countries blueberry growers.

«We believe that we have some excellent varieties of this berry, with a superior flavor. We learn from our competition and try not to make the same mistakes,” explains Berries ZA operations manager Elzette Schutte. “We continue to try to ensure that every batch of South African fruit delivered to our international markets is better than the rest. We also make sure to have good relationships with our buyers and other customers in the retail. South Africa is known for its excellent fruit, and that is why we believe that our blueberries, like the rest of our products, should be considered the best in the world.

Europe is the largest market for South African blueberries. In 2020, 15.636 tons were exported, compared to 12.221 in 2019, and around 7.000 tons were shipped to Europe last season. Approximately 15% of the total exports went to Germany in 2020, and this year around 129 tons have been exported to that country so far, with a total forecast of 3.000 tons by the end of the campaign.

As Germany is still a very small market for South African blueberries, Berries ZA hopes to develop relationships with the key players in the sector in that country and ultimately increase its market share, which is currently around 3%.

“Europe, especially the Netherlands and Germany, are extremely important markets for South Africa; It has always been this way and will continue to be this way in the future. We believe there is much more potential in these markets than we are taking advantage of right now. "That's why we're going to make an effort to invest heavily in those markets and hopefully impress them with our excellent quality fruit, flavor and overall taste experience."

The global logistics dilemma has made day-to-day business very difficult, Schutte says. «The increase in costs has also had enormous consequences. However, this is not the first time that South African farmers and exporters have faced turbulence in harvesting and exporting their produce, so despite all the complications, we will persevere as always.”

Blueberries are grown throughout South Africa, but mainly in the Western Cape (60%), Mpumalanga, North West Province, Gauteng and Limpopo. The season runs from June to January.

The promotional campaign starts now and will last until this year's Fruit Logistica.

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