The UK has become a major target for South African fruit and vegetable farmers due to its decision to leave the European Union via Brexit and potential trade tariffs affecting traditional fruit and veg supply agreements to the UK, from the EU countries.
South African officials have already been to London to discuss potential trade deals on the back of Brexit which they say will open up a ‘wealth of opportunities.’
The only hurdle the South Africans need to overcome is the threat of citrus blackspot and meeting the regulations that the UK imposes on production and quality when buying in food produce.
John Purchase is the chief executive of Agbiz in South Africa. He said that the potential for deals between the UK and his country for fruit and veg was huge.
Speaking in Pretoria, John said: “The United Kingdom is already an important trading partner with South Africa. However, Brexit is presenting further opportunities for our fruit and veg farmers depending on the outcome of trade tariffs. If some of the European Union countries that supply the UK prove too costly then we are in a good position to supply instead.
“South African officials have already visited the UK and had several negotiations with Philip Hammond and those talks will continue. It is true we have some issues with disease like citrus blackspot that are currently in the way but I am positive those hurdles will be overcome.”
By Chris McCullough