"Geographical position is our biggest disadvantage; we cant miss a flight": Vijan Chetty, PPECB
Vijan Chetty, General Manager, Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), South Africa, and Board of Director, Cool Chain Association (CCA), spoke to Libin Chacko Kurian of STAT Media Group, during the recently concluded air cargo Africa 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
They discussed in length the South African perishable production, movement and exports, air freight infrastructure, logistic challenges, recent research, learnings and the role of CCA.
Even though air only carries 1 percent of South Africa's perishable exports, he points out that some of the strategically located airports like Capetown, Johannesburg and Durban are not used to their optimum.
He says that one of the biggest challenges in cold storage is that stakeholders treat all the products, from flowers to blueberries, the same. "Each product should be treated separately and differently," he says.
In the video, he takes us through the entire journey of perishable goods produced in South Africa: from the farmer's farm to the pack house to the sorting house to PPECB's inspections to the cold chain environment to trucks to port facilities to containers to the port and to the vessels.
He notes that the biggest challenge for the South African perishable industry is the distance to their markets like Asia and Europe. "We are very far away," as he says it.
He also talks about the Cool Chain Association and the recent research they conducted with PPECB. "We do research on the entire value chain right from the flower is cut to packed. We not only do it for temperature but also to understand the impacts of packaging, cold storage in the farm and truck movement to airports," he said.
He even chose to share his experience and learnings from his two-decade-long career engagements with the perishables industry in South Africa. There are some interesting takeaways from his wisdom.
01:19 The South African perishable exports, logistics challenges and what PPECB does.
02:48 The farm-to-fork value chain and stakeholders involved in South African perishable exports.
05:06 The biggest disadvantage for South African perishables.
07:31 PPECB's engagement with stakeholders in the perishable exports industry?
08:58 Learnings from the research conducted by PPECB.
10:37 Learnings from the two-decade-long career in the perishable industry?
11:46 What does Cool Chain Association Do?