South Africa is a major agricultural producer and is self-sufficient in most major food crops.
Agribusiness sector in South Africa
South Africa requires a significant amount of imports to cater to the increasing variety of products that sophisticated South African
consumers are demanding, particularly for niche and speciality products.
The South African Government has embarked on three core strategies to realign the historical legacies and compete globally. These
are: to enhance the equitable access and participation in the agricultural sector; to improve global competitiveness and profitability;
and to ensure sustainable resource management. Through this increasing support from the government, South Africa has seen its
production in many agricultural sub-sectors significantly grow over the last few years.
South Africa is a major agricultural producer and is self-sufficient in most major food crops. This sector is vital to the national
economy providing employment for around 30% of the working population. It currently produces ±85% of its domestic meat demand,
as well as being largely self sufficient in the dairy sector. Other major agricultural produce includes sugar, fish, fruit and wine. The
alcoholic drinks industry is growing as South Africa’s reputation for producing good wines continues to increase.
The estimated value of imports of agricultural products during 2010/11 came to ±£3 105 million, an increase of 14.3% from 2009/10.
The value of exports increased by 6.9%, from 2009/10 to ±£3 805 million in 2010/11. The result was a positive agricultural trade
balance of ±£700 million, in 2010/11.
There will be opportunities in most of the Agri-tech sectors as more government efforts will be placed on strengthening food security,
broadening market access, infrastructure development and investment in research. Specific opportunities may be found in the
Since May 2011 British beef can now be exported to South Africa, following the end of a 15-year embargo. The removal of the ban
means that domestically produced deboned beef from anatomically recognisable cuts, as well as a significant range of offal, can be
sold into South Africa. South Africa was the largest non-EU market for English beef prior to the BSE crisis in 1996. The lifting of the
ban will come as great news to all British beef farmers looking to export to South Africa.
Food Supply Chain Technologies
South Africa is a significant producer and exporter of fresh produce, but the South Africa Government and business alike recognise
the need for robust food safety/hygiene and traceability systems to ensure that produce meets the requirements for export, in particular
to Europe and the US. The UK offers world-class expertise in these areas.
There is an aspiration for South Africa to develop its horse industry further. The UK is well positioned to provide training in all
aspects of equine care and management, science and research collaboration especially in relation to equine diseases, nutrition, training,
equine business management as well as genetics.
There are specific areas of agricultural training that are required within South Africa. The following will change from time to time as
the needs of the sector change however opportunities for training have been identified in the following:
ξ veterinary sciences
ξ agricultural economics, trade and business
ξ agricultural engineering
ξ food sciences
ξ agricultural sciences
ξ plant pathology
Latest export opportunities in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries sector
Latest export opportunities in South Africa
Getting into the market
There are two ways of getting into the South African Agribusiness market;
ξ Partnering with a local distributor to market and distribute the British product within South Africa
ξ Going directly to the major retailers or end users.
More about doing business in South Africa
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during
overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local
international trade team.
Trade & Investment Advisor
+27 (0)21 405 2420
Trade & Investment Officer
UKTI Cape Town, British Consulate-General
T: +27 (0)21 405 2489
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for
attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries sector
KZN Royal Agricultural Show
Date: 25 May – 03 June 2013
Website address: www.royalshow.co.za
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters