Flying fruit from SA to the UK
It’s finally summertime in the southern hemisphere and the wonderful smell of budding flowers fills the air – bringing with it the first fruits of the season and ample opportunities …
One of these is the contract between AfriAg South Africa together with the AfriAg Group, provider of agricultural logistics throughout Africa – and Australian-based United Exports, supplier of southern African stone fruits to major European retailers.
In this arrangement AfriAg will exclusively manage the logistical movement of South Africa’s first new season stone fruits.
The Group will be utilising the perishable air freight capacity of IAG Cargo (the company resulting from the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo) to deliver fruits to the United Kingdom (UK).
David Lenigas, AfriAg’s chairman, explains: “South Africa is a significant grower and exporter of stone fruits, most of which are exported by sea, but the early season stone fruits are generally transported to Europe by air.”
He adds: “We are pleased to exclusively manage the air freight and handling of such a large quantity of fresh produce that sees these fruits delivered to the shelves of the UK’s largest retailers including: Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, ASDA and Sainsbury – only days after being picked.”
With the European stone fruit season coming to a close and almost no sea freight having been loaded out of South Africa as yet, AfriAg expects strong demand for the air-freighted produce until such time as the sea-freighted produce arrives. AfriAg SA expects to move over 500 tonnes of peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums by air from South Africa to the UK over the next eight weeks.