The PPECB is proud to announce that a decision has been taken to revive and recapacitate its Research and Development (R&D) division. Research on critical matters such as packaging, cold chain management and other aspects of postharvest management has always been an important focus for the PPECB. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, employee resources within the department decreased in recent years making it challenging for the division to meaningfully contribute to much needed industry research.

The PPECB strongly believes that the value of research in today’s ever-changing environment cannot be overstated. Challenges as a result of climate change, new products entering the market, changes in consumer demand and preferences, phytosanitary restrictions and barriers to entry into some markets all place immense pressure on the industry and make it harder to maintain current markets or expand into new ones.

While the PPECB was traditionally viewed as a regulator or enforcer of a minimum standard the organisation has worked hard over the past years to reposition itself as an industry enabler focused on making South African perishable products more competitive in the global market. Fulfilling an enabling role is not only accomplished by enforcing minimum quality standards on export produce, but also by contributing to the knowledge base regarding the postharvest handling of produce.

The PPECB’s R&D division has a research strategy that will not focus on basic research but rather will seek to ensure the research is applied with the aim of finding solutions to problems faced by the industry.

In line with the PPECB’s value of collaboration the R&D division will place immense focus on forming research alliances with local and international institutions. By combining expertise and resources, a problem that would otherwise be insurmountable for a single institution can more readily be dealt with by combining the knowledge and expertise of different institutions. Furthermore, working together with other research institutions will prevent duplication of research and ensure the best utilisation of resources.

Finally, the R&D division will also have a strong focus on innovation and making the work of the PPECB and stakeholders easier, faster and more efficient. This will include remaining abreast with new technologies implemented in other countries which can be sourced and tested for local use.

We trust that the division will receive your support and look forward to partnering with you on future projects.