The challenges of the fruit supply chain following the deregulation of the South African fruit industry in 1997

Kruger, Karen Lisa (2000-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The implementation of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act of 1996 resulted in the deregulation of the South African fruit industry in October 1997. This led to independent decision-making regarding the marketing of export products by a host of deciduous fruit producers and exporters. No longer were the producers controlled by a monopoly. The deregulation challenged the inflexible single-channel fruit pooling marketing structure of the past and exposed domestic producers and exporters to the competitive global fruit market. By implication this translated into a need to become globally competitive in the interest of growing market share. The focus of this new marketing system is to give the producer the opportunity to export high quality fruit and earn an associated premium for his products, and to strengthen his brand and reputation through these efforts. The deregulation also provided the opportunity for independent fruit growers to influence the optimisation of the value chain, in the interest of lower costs and improved customer service. The market has since changed from supply (stock "push") to demand driven (stock "pull"). It is now imperative that the various producers and exporters provide an efficient supply chain in order to satisfy the end user demands. A consequence of this would be the increase in deciduous fruit quality as a determinant of decidU<;ms fruit demand. Market research was conducted to determine the impact that deregulation has had on South Africa's deciduous fruit industry and to establish the degree to which Portnet should transform to accommodate this changing and deregulated environment. In summary, deregulation has created many opportunities for South African fruit producers and exporters in the domestic and international markets. The only impediment is whether the new logistical structures will be able to reduce costs and improve profit margins, particularly now that economies of scale have been dissipated. Customer service may improve, but at what cost?

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die implementering van die Bemarkingswet van Landbouprodukte in 1996 het gelei tot die deregulering van die Suid-Afrikaanse vrugtebedryf in Oktober 1997. Die gevolg hiervan was die onafhanklike besluitneming ten opsigte van die bemarking van uitvoerprodukte deur 'n groep sagtevrugteprodusente en -uitvoerders. Die produsente is nie langer deur 'n monopolie beheer nie. Die deregulering het die onbuigbare een-kanaal vrugtebemarkingstruktuur van die verlede opsy geskuif en binnelandse produsente en uitvoerders die geleentheid gebied om deel te word van die kompeterende intemasionale vrugtemark. Dit het by implikasie aanleiding gegee tot 'n behoefte om intemasionaal mededingend te wees in die belang van 'n groeiende markaandeel. Die fokus van hierdie nuwe bemarkingstelsel is om die produsent die geleentheid te gee om hoe kwaliteit vrugte uit te voer en die meegaande hoe premie vir sy produkte te verdien, asook om sy handelsmerk en reputasie sodoende te vestig. Die deregulasie het ook die onafhanklike vrugteprodusente die geleentheid gegee om seggenskap in die optimisering van die waardeketting te kry wat tot laer koste en verbeterde klientediens gelei het. Sedertdien het die mark verander vanaf 'n aanbodmark na 'n vraaggedrewe mark. Dit is nou uiters belangrik dat die verskillende produsente en uitvoerders 'n effektiewe voorsieningsnetwerk skep om in die eindverbruikers se behoeftes te voorsien. Die gevolg sou 'n toename in die gehalte van sagtevrugte wees, wat weer belangrike determinant van die sagtevrugte vraag is. Marknavorsing is gedoen om die impak van die deregulasie op die Suid-Afrikaanse sagtevrugtebedryfvas te stel. Wat ook vasgestel moes word, was die mate waartoe Portnet moet transformeer om in die veranderde en gedereguleerde omgewing te funksioneer. Om op te som, deregulering het verskeie geleenthede vir Suid-Afrika se vrugteprodusente en uitvoerders in die binnelandse en intemasionale markte geskep. Die enigste vraag is of die nuwe logistieke strukture wel koste sal verminder en winsmarges sal verhoog, veral noudat skaalvoordele nie meer van toepassing is nie. Klientediens sal verbeter, maar teen watter koste?

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