Postharvest Technical Forum
Before 1996 the technical aspects of the cold chain and logistics were the responsibility of Outspan. After deregulation there was no responsible body to coordinate these activities. To address this important issue the CRI Cold Chain Forum was established in 2007 by putting the following structures in place: The Packhouse and Handling Panel consisting of 5 Regional Packhouse Study groups, The Packaging Working Group, The Exporters Technical Panel, and CRI's Cold Chain and Packaging Research Project. The aim of this Forum is to support pursuit of the global competitiveness of the southern African citrus industry, by enabling optimisation of the citrus cold chain through the provision of a platform for coordinating relevant inputs from key affected parties. In June 2012 the name of this forum changed to the CRI Postharverst Technical Forum.
The functions of this forum are to provide platforms for feedback from and interaction between the forum's membership groups, for technology transfer, for identification of Research priorities, to identify activities to be conducted by the forum and its membership groups, to convene a series of regional pre-packing season workshops, to participate in Citrus Marketing Forum functions and to develop a set of guidelines of relevance to the Citrus Cold Chain.
The CRI Extension Division agreed to co-ordinate the formation of the Postharvest Technical Forum and the initiation of its activities through Dr. Hannes Bester. Dawid Groenewald currently acts as convener of the forum.