“Competitors make you better.” – Magic Johnson
The last few weeks people have been writing about and sharing memories from Fresh Summit over the years. And yes, of course, I had the “blues” as well!
The last Fresh Summit I attended was in 2019. Our group had the pleasure of sponsoring the ever-popular Women’s Fresh Perspectives breakfast hosted by the Center for Growing Talent featuring Queen Latifah as the guest speaker and the same event where Frieda Rapoport Caplan was acknowledged and presented with the Women’s Catalyst Award (now officially titled, the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award).
This was also the year when NBA MVP and basketball legend, Magic Johnson, was the keynote speaker at the general session, and what a powerful performance! I am a big sports fan and, in my opinion, the most successful sportsmen and women are those who put in the extra effort and most of them have had to try again and again to reach their summit of success.
A wonderful example from South Africa is Tatjana Schoenmaker. She did not qualify for the previous Olympics (by only a fraction of a second) in Rio and during the 2021 summer Olympic games, she not only took the gold medal in her event but also set a new world record as well! Yes, South African sport is more than just all about rugby.
The words that Magic shared that day in Anaheim, “competitors make you better,” were so applicable to the Summer Citrus from South Africa program.
From our exporters to our service providers and our vetted importers, all are competitors collaborating toward the best for the industry.
The beauty of it all is, in this process, their businesses grow and benefit as well. This program has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. When the pandemic hit, we thought we’d seen the worst of the “ugly”, but then this season took it to the next level!
Our business model has always managed supply and demand, but as the program’s success has grown over the years and with increased demand, “managing supply” and executing this program has become the most challenging part.
As the global supply chain remains under an enormous amount of pressure and with not too much light at the end of the tunnel, this special program remains a bright and shining armor for us. This is all thanks to our loyal service providers and selected importers. We have adapted to this ever-changing, fast-paced environment and have learned to prepare for the worst while expecting the best.
I am so pleased to share that this program has once again been successfully executed during the 2021 season in spite of the many challenges. In my decade with this group, we have grown 130% with YOY growth of 13%.
As we bring our 2021 season to a close, we are grateful for each and every individual and business that makes it possible for our fruit to travel the distance with high standards to delight the American consumer.
Take moment to reflect and watch this highlight reel from our highly anticipated annual planning session held in South Africa. We haven’t met since 2019 in this way and we look forward to the day we can host you again in our beautiful country. You will recognize many faces and may even see yourself in the highlights!
Until next year, I wish you well, hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and look forward to another successful summer season in 2022!
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Thank you for the continued support!
CEO – Summer Citrus from South Africa
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