Moscow [Russia], May 28 (ANI): The first ship with this season's fresh fruit from South Africa has arrived in the port of St. Petersburg.
There are apples, pears, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit on board, a total of 3,500 tons of fresh fruit, reports TV BRICS, Russia.
South African fruit has been on Russian shelves for almost 30 years. The Russian consumer "eats" a tenth of all the fruit that South Africa grows for export.
Georgiy Keshishyan, manager of the chartering department, told TV BRICS about the progress of fruit transportation from South Africa to Russia.
"Baltic Shipping has acted as a fruit shipping operator for 20 years. This season we used a refrigerated vessel able to maintain required temperature in the cargo holds with an accuracy of half a degree, at the same time keeping humidity, CO2 emissions and exchanges. The quality of refrigerated cargo transportation is much higher than on other devices," Keshishian said.
He added that the cargo is going to St. Petersburg directly, without any transshipments. The ship is expected to take 21 days to reach St. Petersburg from Cape Town, and 25-26 days from Durban's port of embarkation.
"Next year Russia and South Africa will celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. South Africa is already one of the top three fruit exporters to Russia, and we are working to expand trade relations," said Political Advisor Cecile Heppes.
Cooperation between the two countries in the supply of agricultural products began in 1994 when South African apples and grapes were delivered to Moscow for the first time in early spring. Since then, the volume of deliveries has steadily increased.
South African citrus fruits are the most popular in Russia. In addition, apples, pears, and grapes are exported. Suppliers from South Africa manage to maintain attractive prices: high-quality oranges from South Africa are cheaper on Russian shelves than European products. Due to the optimal combination of price and quality, every fourth orange on the table of the Russian people is from South Africa. (ANI)