On 25 June 2014, Agri-hub applied, on behalf of directly affected groups in the fruit industry, to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, for the establishment of statutory measures (registration and records & returns) on table grapes, deciduous- and citrus fruit, for a four year period (from date of implementation).
In terms of the proposal Agri-hub will be responsible for the registration, collection, and dissemination of information associated with the statutory measures that are requested in terms of Agri-hub’s mandate as an objective and reliable provider of information in the South African fruit industry.
Market participants in the fruit industry (growers, pack houses, depots and exporters), are currently providing data on a voluntarily basis. Their data is submitted via the industry standard transmission files, namely the Dispatch Transmission (PO) files and the Mates Transmission (MT) files. These files are created by the systems that the stakeholders are using, supplied by the participating ISP’s (Information Service Providers). Agri-hub currently requires individual permission from the stakeholders to be able to use the data.
However, through the voluntarily basis only ±75% of fruit export data is collected, with the implementation of the proposed statutory measures accuracy can be improved to more than 95%, which is deemed adequate for making strategic, informed marketing decisions.
Agri-hub argues that information to be obtained in terms of the proposed statutory measures (registration and records & returns) is deemed to be essential for the market to operate effectively. The supply of generic market information to all role-players on a continuous basis is therefore essential.
The fruit industry requested the following statutory measures, namely –
– Registration: The system of compulsory registration of the growers, exporters, pack houses, depots, marketers and information service providers involved, will assist the administration of the statutory measure relating to records and returns.
– Records & returns: To be able to disseminate information as accurately as possible it is necessary for growers, exporters, pack houses, depots, marketers and information service providers to render records and returns (files mentioned under first point) on an individual basis.
The grower and exporters’ associations (exporters’ forum, citrus, grapes, pome- and stone fruit) contribute proportionally to Agri-hub’s annual expenditure. Due to the funding of Agri-hub by the four associations, information can currently be released free of charge to participants.
Any information obtained will be dealt with in a confidential manner by Agri-hub and no sensitive client-specific information will be made available to any party without the prior approval of the party whose rights may be affected. Only processed data which is stripped of all identifying characteristics i.e. exporter, grower, receiver, will be released.
Directly affected groups in the fruit industry are kindly requested to submit any comments regarding support or objections relating to the proposed establishment of statutory measures to the NAMC in writing (fax 012 341 1911 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org) before or on 25 July 2014, to enable the Council to finalise its recommendation to the Minister in this regard.