The deciduous fruit industry will have to stomach a 10,5% increase in the APS Act inspection fee for the 2009/10 season while all other fees will be reviewed in April 2009, said Luvuyo Mabombo, CEO of the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB).
“This increase is well below the CPIX, which was measured at 13,4% in September this year,” he said. Mabombo sighted several reasons for the increase in fees. Travelling expenses for inspectors have risen due to fuel price increases. Accommodation expenses for assessors have also risen dramatically, up to 50% in some areas. attributed this to South Africa’s increasing popularity as a tourist destination. The PPECB has stepped up its training initiatives to ensure personnel remain competent. “This will ensure that the various protocols are adhered to, which will help in securing continued market access,” he explained.
The mode of shipping for deciduous fruit has changed from conventional to containerised shipping. This has increased the number of loading points, which has increased the cost to be present at the time of loading. He said fees are also volume-dependant and 2009/10 season forecasts expect limited volume growth. “Obviously input cost increases make you unhappy, but this was a negotiated increase and since there are producers on the board, the results are much more hands-on than in the past,” said Chris Faure, a deciduous producer. said industry levies remained very stable over the past few years, with increases often below the inflation rate. – Wouter Kriel