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South Africa's Midknight Oranges Arriving in the U.S.

Extraordinary Quality Driving Demand

Philadelphia, Pa., October 10, 2011 – The first shipment of South African Midknight Oranges has arrived in the U.S. at the port of Philadelphia. This is the first of four shipments that will arrive through October 2011.

The Midknight is a Valencia varietal known for its excellent eating quality. “It is smaller than a typical Navel orange, seedless, very juicy and sweet with an appealing texture and taste,” said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF). “As the season for South African Summer Citrus reaches its final weeks, we are proud to have this product available to the American consumers across the country.” www.summercitrus.com

Some 600,000 cartons of Midknights will arrive here during October so that fresh product can replenish retail supplies on a regular basis through mid-November. The quantity of Midknights is 60,000 cartons more than was shipped in 2010.

“With their buying power, U.S. consumers again this season are demonstrating their commitment to all the South African Summer Citrus products,” said Conradie. “With the availability of the Navel oranges giving way to the Midknights, they will continue to be pleased with the excellent quality of the fruit.”

During October, Kings Market in New Jersey will promote the Midknight oranges with point-of-sale demonstrations, recipe giveaways, and in-store visits from grower representatives. “We really enjoy the opportunity to meet with consumers and tell them about our fruit. When they taste it, they buy it and come back for more,” said Conradie. “Several in-store promotions have been a successful part of the marketing program throughout the season.”

Since 1999, shipments of South African summer citrus fruits have increased from 50 tons to about 40,000 tons expected this year. Exports include Clementines, Navel oranges, Midknights and Star Ruby grapefruit.

The Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF) is a consortium of about 350 South African growers approved to export summer citrus to the U.S. Next to Spain, South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus in the world, producing 60 percent of all citrus fruits grown in the Southern Hemisphere. The South African citrus sold in the United States comes primarily from the region near Citrusdal about two hours northwest of Cape Town, the Northern Cape near Kimberly, and the northwest along the Orange River, near Upington.

For more information, visit www.summercitrus.com or find South African Summer Citrus, including healthy recipes featuring South African citrus, at www.facebook.com/summercitrus.


Suhanra Conradie Serves as Produce Marketing Association Mentor. PMA Career Pathways Program gives students networking and industry experience

Philadelphia, Pa, October 14, 2011 – Suhanra Conradie, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Cape Citrus Growers Forum (WCCGF), has been selected to serve as a mentor at the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit Oct. 14-17 in Atlanta, Ga.

Conradie is the first representative of the South African Citrus Growers Association to be selected as a mentor through the program.  The WCCPF is a consortium of more than 300 South African citrus growers eligible to export summer citrus to the United States.

“I am excited and honored to serve as a mentor through the Career Pathways Program,” Conradie said. “As a mentor, I hope to encourage students to pursue careers in the produce marketing field and offer greater knowledge of the global marketplace and its impact on the industry.  These students are the future of our industry, and it is essential that we provide them with the tools and experiences necessary to be successful.”

Conradie is working with two mentors, both from South Africa. Vanessa Barends is in her final year at the University of Stellenbosch; Moses Mbuti is a recent graduate from the University of Pretoria.

The Fresh Summit, the industry’s annual trade show, draws industry leaders from around the world.  The Career Pathways Program is designed to attract and educate college students who are interested in the fresh produce industry.  This year, 42 students and 13 faculty members from 13 universities from around the country and world are attending the conference.

Through the Career Pathways Program, the students are given an industry orientation and assigned a mentor, who provides networking opportunities and first-hand insights and knowledge about the fresh produce industry.

South Africa is the world’s second largest exporter of citrus next to Spain.  The fruit exported to the U.S. comes mainly from the Western Cape region about two hours northwest of Cape Town, and the Northern Cape, near Kimberley.  For more information, visit www.summercitrus.com .

Contact: Lisa Packer lisa@rpandw.com
610-688-3164 (o); 215-460-8333 (m)