The Post-Harvest Innovation (PHI) Programme, initiated in 2007, is a public-private partnership between the Department of Science and Technology, through its Sector-Specific Innovation Fund, and the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum. PHI is directed at enhancing the global competitiveness of South African fresh horticultural industries.

It is the vision of PHI to transform the global competitiveness of the South African fresh horticultural industry by funding R&D and innovation (RDI) efforts in high-priority areas in the post-harvest leg of the value chain. In addition to providing a platform for RDI, it aims to build critical mass and institutional capacity to support innovation in the fresh horticultural industry.

PHI partners with various industry growers’ associations to help identify and fund research projects that address specific post-harvest challenges of their respective commodities. To date, PHI has funded more than 50 R&D projects and has seen the development of new and exciting areas of research and innovation. The outcome of these projects is captured in PHI publications, which serve as a reference to the South African fresh horticultural industry. The most recent publication, INNOVATE, is the recipient of the internationally acclaimed Apex Award for Excellence in 2014.

The overall objective of all the PHI projects is to help identify cutting-edge post-harvest interventions that will ensure that fresh fruit market demands are met. This should assist the South African fresh fruit export industry to remain profitable, sustainable and globally competitive. Please refer to for more information.