As failing to comply with labelling requirements could place SA’s export programme to South Korea at risk, DAFF wants to implement penalties to address the problem.
“South Korea does not have more stringent protocols than other markets. We have to ensure that new pack houses not familiar with the protocols are informed of what is required,” said Paul Hardman, industry affairs and food safety manager for the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa.
South Korea is an important export destination for local citrus growers. Since SA got market access for its grapefruit in 2013, exports have increased substantially and now stand at an average of 600 000 cartons a year. Grapefruit is a popular fruit in South Korea and is in demand for health reasons.
SA has a good reputation for maintaining high standards when it comes to food safety and supplying a high quality product to international markets, said Hardman.
DAFF will host a meeting at the Tzaneen Country Lodge in Limpopo on 24 November at 9.30am to inform all registered pack houses of export labelling requirements.