South African Farmers’ Perceptions of the Benefits and Costs of Complying with EUREPGAP to Export Fresh Citrus to the European Union (EU)
A representative stratified random sample of 100 South African farmers from across all production regions that export fresh citrus to the EU were surveyed during 2007-2008 to document their perceptions of the benefits and costs of complying with EUREPGAP standards on citrus exports. Principal Component Analysis identified six broad dimensions of internal benefits as improved operating/technical performance; regulations compliance and intra-business benefits; gains in competitiveness; regulations compliance and new market access; benefits from existing markets; and to overcome non-tariff barriers to entry. Two further dimensions of supply chain benefits identified by PCA were improved business working relationship and product quality benefits, and improved cooperation and contractual benefits. The sampled growers thus perceive operational, technical, safety, management, monetary, marketing and supply chain benefits from certification. The major costs of implementing EUREPGAP certification related to initial investment costs and the recurrent annual costs of compliance. The respondents, on average, spent R70510 on initial compliance costs, mainly for infrastructure, additional buildings and employees training. Some 60% of respondents spent less than 1% of annual farm turnover on initial compliance costs, while most of the respondents (84%) spent less than 1% of annual farm turnover on recurrent costs of compliance. Growers that owned a pack-house had statistically significantly higher initial and annual costs of compliance. The intra- and inter-firm benefits and costs of compliance identified by these results indicate factors that policymakers, and the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, can focus on to improve the competitiveness of SA fresh citrus exports to the EU.
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