Streaming issues? Report here
Africa Melane 2019 1500 BW Africa Melane 2019 1500 BW
Early Breakfast with Africa Melane
04:00 - 06:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
See full line-up
Early Breakfast with Africa Melane
04:00 - 06:00
Home
arrow_forward
Business

Why are table grapes so pricey? Produce wholesaler explains the factors at play

2 December 2021 4:44 PM
Tags:
grape producers
table grapes
grape season

CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson chats to Johan van Niekerk, the Commercial Director at Star South.
  • SA grown grapes are now in season consumers are hoping for some reprieve at the shopping tills
  • But the cost of locally produced grapes could be higher this season due to higher costs of labour, packaging materials and logistics
  • Johan van Niekerk from Star South - SA's biggest importer of table grapes - unpacks the various factors

A farmer in Vredendal, Western Cape harvests grapes. Picture: EWN

There are various factors influencing the price of table grapes, both imported and locally produced.

While some consumers have complained about how expensive grapes are, produce wholesaler Star South says the price of table grapes has largely remained unchanged in the past five years.

Star South commercial director Johan van Niekerk says South African grapes are now in season which means locally produced products will be filling the store shelves.

Van Niekerk says most grapes are imported from Spain and Egypt when they are out of season in SA.

Imported grapes tend to be more expensive because of international prices, global shipping costs, issues at South African ports, processing and labelling costs as well as distribution costs.

On the other hand, grapes that are produced in South Africa tend to be more affordable because there are no shipping costs and certain processing costs associated with importation.

However, van Niekerk says South African growers have experienced 17% cost inflation year on year which could also lead to higher pricing.

He says most retailers have been cutting margins on grapes due to the cost inflation in order to "keep the retail ticket at the same level".

"There's been very little if any price movement in the last five years... a punnet of grapes has been retailing for the same price", he tells CapeTalk.

Today is actually the second week of the South African season, so at the moment 90% of the grapes you'll find in the shops are locally produced

Johan van Niekerk, Commercial Director - StarSouth

In the winter months, we import grapes from Spain and Egypt.

Johan van Niekerk, Commercial Director - StarSouth

With the imported grapes... it's basically the marketing options that European producers have which determines the price. Supply and demand in Europe.

Johan van Niekerk, Commercial Director - StarSouth

The costs drivers are basically the price in Euros which we by the product in Spain, then the Dollar price for the shipping... so in Rands, the price becomes very expensive.

Johan van Niekerk, Commercial Director - StarSouth



2 December 2021 4:44 PM
Tags:
grape producers
table grapes
grape season

More from Business