The current COVID-19 global pandemic has no doubt changed the way everyone approaches work and life at the moment. Although we are very aware of the devastating impact that this pandemic has and will continue to have, on our country and industries, we approach this season with sincere gratitude as we are mostly able to go about our business without major disruption. Our team is mostly set-up to work remotely and do so with great effectiveness.
Although there have been significant logistical challenges that have caused us to make many internal and external adjustments, both the global and local demand for our fruit remains positive and sustainable.
The investment made by our producers is long term and our market is international, which provides us with the opportunity to be more flexible and adapt to the ever-changing situation.
The ‘saving grace’ for us (as is for the entire fruit industry) is that our produce has significant health benefits and is considered as ‘essential’ in light of the current crisis.
Delecta and our producers follow all safety measures and strictly adhere to all conditions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We aim to set an example as we respond to the Minister of Health’s guidelines, and one such example is that we’ve made masks for our entire team, in anticipation of the recent announcement that masks are to be worn in public at all times.
We are further grateful to be financially sound due to the responsible management of our resources, and we are committed to do our utmost to make a difference in our communities during this difficult time.
We recently had the opportunity to apply for financial assistance from the Waitrose Foundation, on behalf of one of our stone fruit suppliers in Zimbabwe, Home Produce. Thanks to the generosity of the Waitrose Foundation, a substantial amount will be given to Home Produce which will enable them to provide food, basic medical care, safety equipment and sanitisation to approximately 200 households. This will have a total community reach of approximately 800 people.
Amidst our positivity, we are also realistic about the impact this pandemic will still have on us from a product and marketing perspective. The world as we know it, has already changed forever. And, so we will all have to adapt and change too. Our Management team has commissioned each department to proactively analyze market information to adjust our marketing strategies to stay in tune with the changing consumer behaviour.
As far as possible we aim to execute pre-seasonal planned sales strategies and customer commitments. Where this is not possible we are fortunate to be well positioned in the markets, to be able to adjust volumes between Countries, Ports, Retailers and Wholesalers to alleviate the pressure that the current unforeseen market conditions bring.
We are increasingly aware of the fact that there are still very challenging times ahead of us. We are preparing ourselves so that we can be of assistance to our immediate community as things become more difficult. We see this lockdown period as ‘only the beginning’ of the difficulties that will still be faced by South Africa and the world, because of the economic realities that will follow. We are therefore working towards creating a Delecta Relief Fund which will enable us to offer relief where it is most needed.
We remain positive and are committed to be part of the solutions that will be much needed going forward. We are grateful for the continued support of our farmers, service providers and customers. Together we shall overcome.