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

Juice, hand sanitiser and discounts to solve SA’s wine glut

South Africa is currently faced with a wine glut of 289 million litres, due to the ban on the sale of liquor during the lockdown period to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details needed on economic recovery plan – agri bodies

While organised agriculture bodies have welcomed many of the actions and goals set out in the economic restructure and recovery plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa this week, they want more details on how it will be effectively implemented.

Wine glut threatens industry’s sustainability

Due to the ban on wine sales during the national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African wine industry has been left with an unprecedented oversupply of wine.

Claims of ill-treatment of workers ‘not fair or true’ – ZZ2

ZZ2, one of the largest farming businesses in South Africa, has vehemently denied reports that farmworkers were given an ultimatum by the company to either remain onsite during the COVID-19 lockdown period, or go home without pay.

Retailers must explain high margins on fresh produce

The higher margins made by retailers on fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic require an explanation, according to the ‘Essential Food Price Monitoring’ report by South Africa’s Competition Commission (CompCom).

Theft of beehives spikes as demand for pollinators increases

Beekeeping has offered a lifeline to many rural communities, as this essential service allowed them to generate an income during the COVID-19-related lockdown.

‘Mini EU trade deal’ brings relief for US lobster exporters

Despite a recent agreement between the EU and the US on lobster tariffs, it is unlikely to be followed soon by similar accords, given transatlantic differences about agriculture, EU vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis has said.

Flower industry struggling to recover from COVID-19 fallout

The production and marketing of South Africa’s cut flowers are struggling to recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19-related national and international lockdowns.

GDP figures worst in SA’s history – economist

South Africa's economy took a not unexpected nosedive during the second quarter of 2020, a period that contained the lion’s share of the country’s five-week long hard lockdown which brought a halt to most economic activity.

Easing of lockdown reignites fears over ‘chicken dumping’

Any gains intended by South Africa’s Poultry Sector Master Plan to reinvigorate the country’s long-ailing broiler value chain will be severely compromised should large-scale dumping of imported chicken meat onto the local market resume.

COVID-19 pushes SA citrus exports to the US to new highs

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in positive market demand for citrus, causing an upsurge in prices, according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa.

COVID-19 farmer support vouchers extended to 30 September

The period for which vouchers issued as part of the COVID-19 Disaster Agricultural Support Fund are valid has been extended to 30 September.

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