Suhanra Conradie (left), CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa, and Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda's Inc., attend a March meeting on the association's plans this season. ( Photo courtesy Summer Citrus from South Africa )

Faced with a drought that threatened residential water supplies in the Western Cape, Summer Citrus from South Africa says technology, innovation and best practices ensured citrus growers will have a prosperous season.

Containers of easy peeling varieties, followed by navels and star ruby grapefruit, will begin arriving in the U.S. in late May, according to a news release. The first conventional vessel is expected to arrive the third week of June at the Port of Philadelphia.

Importers, marketers and growers met in March for the Summer Citrus from South Africa for its annual planning meeting, discussing volumes, sales and marketing plans, shipping schedules and category trends, according to the release.

“The annual planning sessions form a critical part of our forward planning as this is the time when importers, retailers and growers have the opportunity to exchange information regarding current production and market conditions,” Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa, said in the release. “Despite the severe drought in the Western Cape, the group estimates to increase volumes to the United States.”

New this year is a bi-weekly newsletter to update marketers in the U.S. on crops, availability, promotions and grower spotlights. To sign up, visit the group’s website.

Presenters at the meeting included Dan’l Mackey Almy and Megan Zweig from DMA Solutions Inc. for a marketing recap of last year’s season and preview of plans for this season, including a Sweet Summer Sweepstakes. Frieda’s Inc. President and CEO Karen Caplan spoke on opportunities for the brand to grow in the U.S., according to the release.

At the meeting, Boet Mouton succeeded Johan Mouton as chairman of the Summer Citrus from South Africa board.