Daily news about how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is impacting agriculture and food supply chains globally and specifically in South Africa.

Pineapple export troubles eased by demand from home-brewers

Pineapple producers in the northern KwaZulu-Natal region have expressed the hope that as the economies in overseas countries start to “open up” after the COVID-19 pandemic, exports will re-commence and even increase.

COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’ for African food security

COVID-19’s arrival in Africa has exacerbated pre-existing major challenges to the continent’s food production and nutrition security.

Fresh herb demand falters as COVID-19 shuts restaurants

Despite the market for fresh herbs being very small compared with that of fruit and vegetables, it is an industry that has grown significantly over the past few years.

Wildlife industry caught off-guard by latest hunting ban

Various industry representative organisations were again left bewildered by the unexpected late July announcement by Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, to ban inter-provincial travel for South Africa’s many subsistence hunters.

High-end agri products most affected by COVID-19 lockdown

A reasonably bright year for South African agriculture is forecast with growth of the sector expected to be strong in 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19 and its attendant regulations.

Johnnie Walker brand to debut new paper-based bottle

Top-selling Scotch whisky brand, Johnnie Walker, has announced that early in 2021 it intends to debut the first-ever 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle.

Wine cellars cancel 2021 grape purchases due to liquor ban

The recent decision by government to reinstate the ban on domestic alcohol sales under Level 3 of the lockdown regulations to contain the COVID-19 pandemic will result in an even larger surplus of wine in South Africa.

Game reserve turns to meat sales amid COVID-19 tourism ban

The 12 000ha community-owned Somkhanda Game Reserve (Somkhanda) in northern Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal recently started generating much-needed additional income through the commercial sale of meat harvested from its game populations.

Gap between farm and retail prices ‘warrant investigation’

A mixed picture was being painted by the different entities monitoring food prices during the national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the Competition Commission.

Covid-19 delays 2020 coffee harvest as prices weaken

The shortage of migrant workers to harvest coffee beans in South America due to travel restrictions aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in countries such as Costa Rica, not being able to complete their harvests.

SA avocado exports to European market under pressure

The estimate for South Africa’s avocado exports in 2020 has been adjusted down 11,6% from 18,5 million 4kg cartons to 16 million 4kg cartons, due to smaller fruit sizes as a result of the hot, dry summer.

New alcohol ban a ‘devastating blow’ for SA wine industry

The decision announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday (12 July) to reinstate the ban on the sale of alcohol, has dealt another blow to the South African wine industry, which has already lost billions this year due to lockdown regulations implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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