Over the past ten years, there has been a gradual transformation of African farming practices to enhance the focus on Africa’s export capacity. The continent is now firmly on the path to emerge as one of the world’s top exporters of fresh produce, but there are still lessons to be learned and supply chain challenges to be understood and overcome, according to Keith Marshall, CEVA Logistics’ air freight leader for Middle East and Africa.

For the past two decades, Marshall has been directly involved in tracking volumes of major African commodities exports to almost every corner of the world. His core expertise is his in-depth understanding of industry trends, especially perishables and fresh produce exports from Africa to the world. He has built up a wealth of first-hand data and knowledge around the gradual shift from pure raw commodities to processed fresh produce products exported from Africa. Marshall contends that ensuring that commodities grown and produced in Africa are successfully traded on the markets of developed countries hinges on understanding the supply chain challenges.

Businesses and supply chain professionals who can overcome these challenges have the opportunity to contribute to building local communities and growing African economies through fresh produce exports. Marshall will share his insights and expertise on this important topic in a compelling presentation at the upcoming 45th annual SAPICS Conference. Africa’s leading event for the supply chain profession has been hosted by SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management) since 1975. The 2023 SAPICS Conference, which is co-hosted by the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), takes place in Cape Town from 11 to 14 June 2023

In his presentation on exporting fresh produce from Africa to the world, Marshall will explore what competitive nations have already done, and what lessons Africa can learn. “The global distribution of African fresh produce exports is yet to reach the maturity of its competitors who export to developed countries, especially Latin America, Turkey and certain Asian countries,” he notes. “In the past decade, however, European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries have increased the quantity of fresh produce they procure from markets around the African continent. Presently, geo-political circumstances and events such as the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in increased energy costs, as well as labour shortages and other obstacles within many traditional food and flower producing markets, and Africa is accelerating its efforts in a bid to fill the gap. In this race, Africa is fast becoming the world’s basket for high quality, cost comparative and even niche fresh produce products.”

Marshall will discuss the opportunities that abound and the challenges of exporting products from Africa to the developed world with delegates at the 2023 SAPICS Conference. He will also examine the positive trends and offer creative supply chain solutions to facilitate exports from Africa to the world.

For further information, or to register for the 2023 SAPICS Conference, call the Conference Secretariat at Upavon Management on 011 023 6701 or email Up-to the-minute information is also posted on the SAPICS conference website:

PHOTO CAPTION: 2023 SAPICS Conference presenter Keith Marshall.



SAPICS’s mission is to elevate, educate and empower the community of supply chain professionals across Africa.

Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has become the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide community of accomplished industry professionals. This community is ever expanding and now includes a multitude of associates in other African countries as well as around the globe. SAPICS is proud to represent the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) as its exclusive premier channel partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2023 SAPICS Conference takes place from 11 to 14 June 2023 at Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.



The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) was established in 1921.  For more than a century, SAAFF has played an essential role in freight forwarding and international trade, with members facilitating these activities through their dedicated involvement in the management of transportation, customs clearing, documentation, third-party payments, and many other elements of the international supply chain.

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