South Africa’s ongoing initiative to promote fresh fruit in the UK market will focus increasingly on the ethical reasons for shoppers to enjoy fresh fruit from the country.
HORTGRO, the growers’ association behind the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign, says activities in supermarkets and in the media this season are set to communicate key messages about the role the fruit industry is playing in the sustainable development of South Africa.
These include the fact South African fruit is:
- Produced ethically and fairly traded
- Creating jobs – one job for every hectare of fruit planted
- Empowering previously disadvantage people – workers who were picking fruit 10 years ago are now managing and owning farms
- Supporting families – each worker has an average of four dependants
- Shipped, not flown, to the UK
These ethical reasons for eating South African fruit will be used across all activities in supermarkets and in the media.
The campaign begins in December with a focus on South African plums, peaches, nectarines, before moving on to apples and pears. It will highlight the taste and season for a number of headline varieties when they are on shelf and eating quality is at its best.
The fruit will be promoted in retailers, where information and recipe booklets will be inserted in packs of fruit and given away to shoppers at sampling events. This will be supported with point-of-sale material and receipt vouchers, as well as information stickers on packs of apples and pears. A headline ‘Win a Dream holiday to South Africa’ competition will also appear on packs of fruit during the season.
A number of activities will support the work in retailers outside of stores. The Help a South African School competition will run for a third year, with the aim of educating UK schoolchildren about South African fruit and life in the country, while making a positive difference to schools in farming and other rural areas of the country. To enter, UK schools are invited to submit a collage about their learnings, and donate unwanted English language books as part of their submission.
The books and entries will be collected from the schools by courier MyHERMES. The company is giving its services to the project free of charge.
A new competition will this year also encourage young chefs to find out about South African cooking and submit their menus to win travel, accommodation and a training placement with one of the country’s most renowned chefs, Margot Janse of The Tasting Room, part of Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek.
Other highlights of the 2013/14 campaign will include social media work with leading bloggers, media sampling and a new short film illustrating the ethics of South African fruit.
The campaign will be supported with media advertising, social media, an updated website and new recipes from South African celebrity chef Rueben Riffel.
Jacques du Preez, product manager at HORTGRO said: “The South African fruit industry funds the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign to build awareness of South African fruit in the UK, one of our most important export markets. The goal is simple; to communicate to our retailer partners, the media and ultimately to consumers, that when South African stone fruit, and later in the year top fruit, is on shelf it’s the freshest and best tasting you can buy.
“We are also very keen that consumers understand the very real difference they can make to the lives of those who work to produce it. Accordingly, we are also highlighting this vital message: South African fruit is creating jobs, supporting families and changing lives.”
This is the fifth year the Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign will run in the UK market, following a pilot of the project on South African plums in 2009. Since the campaign began, sales of the South African fruit have increased steadily in the UK; in the country’s four largest retailers, stone fruit grew by 63 per cent between the 2009/10 and 2012/13 seasons.
Notes to Editors
- The Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign began with a pilot project on plums in early 2009
- The 2013/14 Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit promotional campaign begins in December with South African peaches and nectarines. This will be followed by plums in January and then apples and pears
- HORTGRO is the industry association formerly known as the Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust
- The South African fruit industry was deregulated in 1997
- More information can be found at www.beautifulcountrybeautifulfruit.co.uk
- Twitter: @SAFruit