Outspan and Bella Nova set for major expansion Capespan International, the marketing organisation which represents around two thirds of overall deciduous and citrus fruit exported from South Africa, has revealed plans to further widen the use of its Outspan and Bella Nova brands to cover produce from other countries. The eventual target is to build these volumes to half of Capespan's sales. Florida citrus is being promoted by Tesco under the Outspan brand. Argentine lemons will follow suit. Bella Nova is already used for South African avocados and Washington apples. At present the entire range of more than 30 fruits accounts for 2.5 million packages and is set to double this season. Willing suppliers include several in underdeveloped export industries in India, China and Madagascar, as well as established international sources through the Mediterranean and Central/South America. Geoff Greene, responsible for international procurement, expects both brands to cover more produce from Spain, France and Italy this season. "Capespan already has 30 grower groups in 17 countries keen to pack and there should be 10 more this year. "There are also plans to develop organic pineapples and melons." Capespan is keen to maintain its South African influence following deregulation and is moving to better cater for British multiples looking for year round sourcing from a single dedicated supplier. Currently UK multiples account for 68% of its volume and 75% of value. MD Neil Oosthuisen is setting up "strategic business units" locked into single retail customers. In terms of the UK, South African grapes are expected to stay steady at 68% volume share this season, according to Martin Dunnett, UK marketing director. "While the crop escaped weather damage, it has been a very difficult season with consumer expenditure down by 10-20%." This, he said, was partly due to the switch to kilo prices which made fruit seem more expensive, and competition from cheap apples, bananas and citrus. He expects that this season Capespan's stone fruit share in the UK will fall to 55% compared to 80% last year; pears drop to 62% compared with 75%; and apples 74%, 10% fewer. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}