There is no doubt that South African citrus will overcome the crisis created by Covid-19. This is the view of newly elected chairperson of the South African Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA), Cornel van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe succeeds outgoing chair Ben Vorster, a prominent citrus grower from Letsitele in the north of the country.

He is currently marketing and packaging director at Komati Fruit, a leading citrus and subtropical producer and exporter, and has served in various senior management positions in the citrus sector for more than ten years, as well as having served on the CGA board for eight years.

“The global health crisis caused by Covid-19 may prove to be a temporary obstacle to our growth, but I have no doubt that we will overcome it,” says Van der Merwe. “As food producers, we have a responsibility to both our country and to international consumers to supply food. More importantly, we have a responsibility of ensuring the job security of all our workers, especially during a period of global crisis.”

However, he does admit that it will take a long time for South Africa to recover from the coronavirus 19 outbreak. “The CGA needs to ensure that it plays a leading role in ensuring we overcome this crisis successfully, and in a manner that continues to help grow our local economy. I am confident that with the leadership of our organisation, even the most difficult challenges will be conquered, and that we will maintain our competitive position in the global citrus sector.

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