There are also two directors who represent the previously disadvantaged farmers in the Northern and Southern regions.
Market access is the cornerstone of the citrus industry – particularly access to the more lucrative markets (USA, EU and Far East). To gain and maintain access to these markets requires the production of fruit of the required standard. Providing citrus fruit of the required standard and adhering to food safety and phytosanitary requirements can only be maintained through well directed research.
Research is therefore considered the primary function of the Association. Citrus Research International (CRI) is situated in Nelspruit. The Association drives the growers research effort; ensuring that research funding is adequate and sustainable; determining growers research priorities, directing the research effort and controlling research expenditure. CRI has its own website www.cri.co.za
Transformation within the citrus industry - is now handled through the CGA Grower Development Company. (June 2015) www.cga-gdc.org.za. 20% of levies received from growers of export citrus is assigned to the CGA GDC.
Linked to the Transformation process, is the Citrus Academy which was formed at the beginning of 2005 and is now a separate entity. www.citrusacademy.org.za. The Citrus Growers Association recognised the shortage of skills and technical capacity as one of the major threats to the ability of the South African citrus industry to maintain its competitive edge in world markets. In addition, there has been an increasing participation in the industry by previously disadvantaged individuals through Black Economic Empowerment and land redistribution initiatives. It has been found that PDI’s require, in most cases, development of basic literacy, technical and business management skills to enable them to establish sustainable and profitable farming enterprises. You can read more about the Citrus Academy by logging onto their website www.citrusacademy.org.za.
Logistics - this is a portfolio which was added in 2009 when the growers decided that CGA should get involved in facilitating efficient logistics.
Communication to and from growers is considered essential. Growers are kept abreast of industry issues through the use of bulk e-mails, the website, the S A Fruit Journal, the bi-annual CItrus Summit and roadshows and personal contact.
The SA Fruit Journal is a bi-monthly magazine which is co-owned by the citrus, deciduous and table grapes associations and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum. This is sent to all growers of export citrus and the other commodities. The publications can be downloaded from the SAFJ website www.safj.co.za. Companies can advertise in these publications by contacting Ignatius Vlok on email@example.com
Research Symposia and Grower Days – Research symposia (CRI) and CGA Roadshows (every second year) plus the bi-annual Citrus Summit, are other very successful ways of reaching the growers.
The CGA has distributed Transformation publications on a regular basis since 2005. The first one was Our Citrus Transforms in 2005/6, followed by Women in Citrus in 2008, Youth in Citrus in February 2010 and Fruits of Success in 2011/12. The latest publication is New Stories of South African Citrus (end of 2015)
The CGA had been in the habit of holding its Annual General Meeting in a different part of the country each year. So far it has been held in Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Stellenbosch, Letsitele, Hoedspruit, Tshipise and the Drakensberg in KZN. This gave citrus growers from all around the country the chance to attend the AGM and meet with the CGA directors and staff. However the logistics of this made the Board decide to rather hold the AGM's at the bigger centres as from 2013, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg being the most usual.
During March 2015, the CGA held its first Citrus Summit instead of the former series of roadshows. It was held in Phalaborwa so that growers in the northern regions could attend. In this way, apart from being shown presentations on all the responsibilities of the CGA staff and various overseas VIP's, they had a chance to exchange ideas with growers from other regions. The next Summit was held in March 2017 at the Boardwalk Hotel, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth. This was very successful and 550 delegates attended. The third CGA Citrus Summit in 2019 was held at the same venue, Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre in PE on 13th and 14th March 2019 where 600 delegates attended. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak during 2020 it was decided to postpone the 2021 SUmmit until 2022.
Updated December 2020.