The Pan-African Fruit Growers and Exporters Association, Afruibana, and the ColeACP have joined their counterparts to form a global coalition to address the rising costs of producing and trading fresh produce, the Brussels-based Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (Shaffe) announced on Thursday.
The other organisations come from a variety of geographical backgrounds, including the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foods Stuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (China), Copa and Cogeca (European Union), Canadian Produce Marketing Association – CPMA (Canada), International Fresh Produce Association – IFPA (United States), Freshfel Europe (European Union) and the Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters – SHAFFE (Latin America, Oceania, South Africa).
The coalition has identified a series of key challenges that all fruit and vegetable operators worldwide are currently facing, such as rising costs of logistics, inputs, fertilisers, packaging materials, energy, supply chain delays and a general labour shortage, according to the release.
Moreover, all of these aspects have additional implications arising from the ongoing effects of Covid-19 on supply chains.
The coalition will work together to publicly voice its concerns and seek to establish multi-stakeholder dialogues with key policymakers and the supply chain, including the shipping and retail sectors, it said. The group will also seek to raise consumer awareness.
Through the combined efforts of these major international trade bodies, the coalition hopes to gain recognition for fruit and vegetables as an essential public good.