The Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) is South Africa’s official export certification agency for the perishable produce industry. With a national footprint, the PPECB has 13 regional offices across South Africa, seven of which are in the Western Cape.
The Western Cape is the main production region for deciduous fruit intended for export and as such the PPECB has almost 100 permanent inspectors across the province. In addition, relief duty staff from other provinces are sent to the region during packing season which can bring the number of inspectors in the province up to 300.
The main product types inspected in the Western Cape include pome fruit; comprised of apples and pears; grapes, citrus and stone fruit, comprised of peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and a small amount of nectacots.
Currently almost 90% of all pome fruit intended for export is produced in the Western Cape with over 37 million cartons inspected by the PPECB in the 2014/2015 year. Of these over 80% are from the Elgin/Grabouw and Ceres growing regions. Currently apples are primarily exported to the United Kingdom (UK), Far East and Africa while 60% of pears are destined for the European Union (EU.)
Second to pome for the province is grapes with 63% of all grapes intended for export being inspected in the Western Cape. The majority of these, over 90%, are produced in the Berg River and Klein Karoo regions, the majority of which are intended for the EU and the UK.
Although only 20% of South Africa’s export citrus is produced within the Western Cape, the PPECB still inspected over 20 million cartons in the province in the 2014/2015 year, with Citrusdal being the main production region. The majority of these were exported to the EU.
Just under 17 million cartons of stone fruit were inspected by the PPECB in the Western Cape in the 2014/2015 year, which, although less than the other main product varieties, accounts for 92% of stone fruit nationally. The majority of Western Cape stone fruit is exported to the EU, UK and Middle East.