Confronting climate change

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Hugh Campbell and Shelly Fuller
H. Campbell: +27 21 882 8470 /
S. Fuller: +27 21 461 1610 /
DURATION: Three years
LEAD INSTITUTIONS: Fruitgro Science and Genesis Analytics
Beneficiary: All fruit sectors

Global warming and other changes in climatic patterns have an impact on agriculture worldwide. This global issue has made the South African fruit and wine industries, in particular, aware of its carbon footprint, fossil fuel usage and the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, an industry project was initiated to develop an information base that would create an understanding of the effect and realities of climatic changes and provide a mechanism to measure its carbon footprint.

Climate change and the South African fruit and wine industries

The project was coordinated by Hugh Campbell of Fruitgro Science, on behalf of the co-sponsors of the project (pome, stone, citrus and subtropical fruit, table grapes, wine, NAMC) and led by climate change expert, Shelly Fuller of Genesis Analytics. A Steering Committee, consisting of industry stakeholders across the South African fruit and wine supply chain, provided additional guidance and expertise.

In confronting climatic changes, the project was aimed at establishing a credible greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting system. The related objectives were to develop an online carbon calculator that would be available free of charge; a complementing website as an information portal to facilitate informed project communication and a landing zone for relevant information, and to develop a strategic framework to guide role-players within the industry on issues relating to climate change.

Tools and strategies for confronting climate change

  • The realities of climate change and related issues were communicated to the agricultural sector through industry networking channels, presentations, the website ( and various articles and other publications.
  • An easily accessible industry protocol standard and online tool for GHG accounting was established.
  • It was achieved by the development of an online calculator tool, which is based on internationally accepted GHG accounting and reporting standards.
  • Experts in the field of GHG accounting (two leading international bodies and one academic group in South Africa) reviewed the Protocol document.

Benefits to industry

  • A comprehensive source of collated information on climate change and related topics has been made available to the South African fruit and wine industries via a website.
  • An online and internationally reviewed carbon calculator that is tailored to South African conditions has been developed.
  • The methodology, on which the online tool is based, is reviewed and updated annually according to international best practice.
  • Technology transfer to create further understanding and uptake was facilitated through local and international presentations, a training manual and CD, articles and other publications and countrywide workshops.