SOUTH AFRICA – To ensure that the highest quality, sustainably produced product reaches German consumers, South African raisins growers are investing in supply chain innovations.

This is according to trade group Raisins SA, which has emphasized the value of the German market to the country.

Germany is the top destination for South African raisins, as its consumers prefer high-quality fruit with little to no residues.

About 20–25 percent of the 67,000 metric tonnes of marketable volume for 2022 will be exported to the German market.

“Growers have been investing heavily in recent times to make sure they stay at the top of their game when it comes to raisin supply. We are always on the lookout to see how new technology and innovative ideas can be applied to improve the sector’s level of sustainability even further.

“The South African raisin industry has a strong connection with German buyers as we provide premium-quality fruit. Food safety is a number-one priority when it comes to markets such as Germany and we pride ourselves on being top-class suppliers in that regard,” said Ferdie Botha, Chief Executive of Raisins SA.

With a variety of on-farm improvements to make their products even more appealing to consumers, Raisins SA stated that it aimed to expand on the already strong business relationship between South Africa and Germany.

Improved trellis systems, better plant material and soil preparation, and more effective water use are just but a few of these improvements.

The industry’s reputation for food safety and traceability has been further enhanced by the recent adoption of SA GAP, a set of farming practices that address environmental, economic, and social sustainability requirements.

By creating high-quality products that adhere to the strictest standards, the project enables smallholder fresh produce growers to reach both domestic and international markets.

According to Raisins SA, ongoing upgrades to the infrastructure for raisin drying are providing an additional boost, while vineyards are continually rehabilitated to guarantee the best quality fruit is farmed and that resources are optimized to safeguard the industry’s long-term survival.

According to Raisins SA, raisins are a natural health powerhouse packed with nutrients including fibre, iron, calcium, and antioxidants.

The three main raisin varieties are Merbein Seedless, Sultana Seedless, and Selma Pete but other varieties comprise Sugra 39 and Flame Seedless.

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