Understanding the citrus value chain

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Jacomien de Klerk and P-W van Wyk
CONTACT DETAILS: +27 31 313 3364 / +27 82 496 5510, jacomien@citrusacademy.org.za
DURATION: One year
LEAD INSTITUTIONS: Citrus Academy and Media World
Beneficiary: The citrus industry

South Africa is presently the second largest exporter of citrus in the world, yet the citrus industry has experienced unnecessary huge losses over the years. Citrus Research International (CRI) and the Citrus Cold Chain Forum (CCCF) identified cold chain problem areas, such as the inefficient implementation of standards and practices in pack houses.

The need for a training package

If everyone involved understood the value chain better – their responsibilities and where they fit in – it would make a worthwhile difference. It would ensure the universal and correct application of best practices, protocols and standards; which would help to reduce product losses and thereby financial losses. It is therefore very important that knowledge and information is transferred efficiently. Specialised, industry driven training material is required to achieve this.

The Citrus Post-harvest Series

In an effort to create a comprehensive training package, the Citrus Post-harvest Series was developed by the Citrus Academy in collaboration with Media World. The series was initially produced for the SABC and broadcast on Agriculture Today. Filming took place around the country, covering all the supply chain processes with special attention to the functioning of the different South African pack houses. The fact that each episode is presented by an industry expert, makes it credible and relevant. Material was adapted for training needs and the final product is available as a set of DVDs in English and Afrikaans.

Benefits to industry

  • Pack houses and growers use the series mainly for training, reference and general information sessions.
  • It can be used time and again to reinforce learning, which has reduced training costs.
  • The Citrus Growers’ Association has sponsored DVD sets for smallholder farmers in four provinces.
  • The DVDs can be ordered from the Citrus Academy and more than 200 copies have been sold to date.
  • The quality and scope of the information provide employees with a sense of purpose and a better understanding of the citrus value chain. This will hopefully have a positive effect on the profitability of the industry in the long run.