The San Miguel company has launched the Thudana Citrus Trust, a trust whose beneficiaries are San Miguel Fruits South Africa (SMFSA) and Sunnybank Pack House employees. The trust gives a select number of employees 30% ownership of the Thudana Citrus Company; a broad-based black empowered ownership scheme.
The Thudana Citrus Trust aims to play a constructive role in empowering black people in the Eastern Cape citrus industry by facilitating participation in the citrus value chain. San Miguel sees the move as a way to empower communities and to grow human capacity. The company is investing in its employees in the Sundays River Valley and donating shares in Thudana Citrus while providing the new shareholders with the training and development that will help them understand the responsibility they hold as trustees and as board members.
“This initiative isn’t just handing a farm to our employees,” says Andries du Preez, country manager, San Miguel Fruits South Africa. “Thudana Citrus is a complete citrus operation and our aim is to empower the community in the long term through education, training and by providing a unique opportunity to become part of a fully-functioning citrus company.”
In June 2018, SMFSA invested in additional citrus operations in South Africa with the aim of introducing a black economic empowerment (BEE) trust as a shareholder of the acquired businesses.
The investment included:
- 40% of Sun Orange Farms, a citrus producing farm in the Kirkwood with a cultivated area of approximately 242 hectares,
- 100% of Thudana Fruit, through which fruit is sold to the local market,
- Sun Citrus Packers with assets which include a pack house with two lines and a maximum capacity to pack 140,000 bins (56,000 tons).