FPEF members receive many direct and indirect benefits:
Membership and pallet fees are charged according to export volumes, but since membership is voluntary; statutory levies do not apply.
The neutral and representative status of the FPEF allows it to engage with authorities on a national and international level; to negotiate and bargain on behalf of the entire fruit industry, as well as leveraging external funding on behalf of the industry.
During 2013, the collective bargaining power of the FPEF was illustrated when it was instrumental in efforts to resolve the challenges experienced with fruit exports to Indonesia and the major citrus black spot (CBS) crisis. The FPEF CEO, together with representatives of the Citrus Growers’ Association and Citrus Research International, undertook four diplomatic visits to Europe to try and resolve the South African CBS challenge with the European Union.
FPEF member companies enjoy a high level of credibility, due to the strict accreditation criteria and Code of Conduct they have to comply with. This comes into play when the Forum receives enquiries from overseas buyers, wanting to know whether a particular South African supplier is a member of the FPEF.
On the other hand, FPEF members are welcome to contact the CEO to verify the credibility of potential importers.
When disputes arise over monetary matters, the FPEF secretariat is willing to conduct free mediations and arbitrations for its members, from time to time, to try and find speedy and cost-effective resolutions.
The FPEF is a shareholder in the company Agrihub (Pty) Ltd, which was established in 2013 to create a facility that can provide the industry with real-time shipping information.
In response to industry requests and to help exporters with planning, a Russian Marketing Forum was established in 2012. A Far East Marketing Forum may also be established, depending on members’ interest.
Fruit Logistica Berlin and Asia Fruit Logistica are two of the most significant trade shows on the international fresh produce calendar.
Naturally, it is very important that the South African fresh fruit export industry participates.
The FPEF raises funds from sources like Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to ensure industry attendance; it assists with the design and construction of the South African pavilion, manages the meeting schedule, and facilitates matchmaking between FPEF members and international traders.
The annually updated FPEF Export Directory is available on the FPEF website, but also distributed at the Fruit Logistica trade fairs. It contains the latest export statistics and a list of all FPEF members with their product information and contact details, which ensures members of major advertising exposure.
For Asia Fruit Logistica 2012, 500 directories were translated into Mandarin and printed in China – an initiative sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WC DoA).
The English and Mandarin versions were also loaded onto travel size USB business cards, which proved to be very popular.
For future events, the FPEF is considering the translation of the Export Directory into Russian and perhaps other languages.
Over the years, the Export Directory has grown in status and relevance. It is regarded by Government as the official South African fruit export publication; international shipping companies use the weekly fruit export volume statistics to plan their weekly schedules, and Lufthansa remarked that the directory is one-of-a-kind.
Apart from the Fruit Logistica trade fairs, the FPEF utilises opportunities created by the dti, Wesgro and the WC DoA to attend the World Food Moscow and smaller events; organise trade missions and distribute appropriate information within industry.
FPEF members also receive weekly market reports and a vast range of information on government services and programmes, export protocols and alerts.
In addition, the FPEF chairs and hosts different marketing and technical meetings, whilst the CEO represents members and the fruit industry on numerous Boards, national and international committees, associations and Forums.
The FPEF CEO is also involved in high-level engagement and liaison with Government departments and parastatal institutions regarding export protocols due to phytosanitary restrictions, inspections, logistics; market access, retention and development.
The FPEF manages a number of projects for the greater good of the industry. Links on this website provides detailed information about the Post-Harvest Innovation (PHI) Programme, the Top of the Class (TOC) programme, the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), and other initiatives.