The Grape Company was one of the first companies to be granted an export license after deregulation of the South African export sector.
“Our vision has been to focus on delivering quality table grapes to our customers over the world. We are very proud to say that the biggest part of our growth over the past 22 years was through new plantings by existing shareholders and growers. We pride ourselves on a special group of growers of whom most have been our partners for more than 17 years,” says Marietjie Franzsen, commercial manager at The Grape Company, which is going to be exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica.
The company, with grower shareholding over the total window, has production units from all of the table grape growing regions in South Africa, starting the season in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape, then moving to the Olifants River, the Berg River and the Hex River regions.
“From all the areas we have around forty different production units which gives us the ability to be flexible and commit to our programmes because we can supply out of all areas. We can supply continually from November up until April (depending on weather and season). All our units have their own packhouse onsite to make sure that all fruit gets under regulated temperatures as soon as possible which is also a factor in our quality.”
“The right partners, quality and innovation are the main pillars on which we build our business. We are continuously investing in all major breeding programmes (for example Sunworld, IFG, SNFL and so forth). We also have some special cultivars and trial blocks of new varieties in all major production areas which we evaluate every year.”
She notes that growth over the past few years occurred mainly in new plantings of Autumn Crisp, Sweet Globe, Sweet Celebration and other cultivars.
“We have our Grape Company brand, of which we are very proud, that we use as our generic brand all over the world. We are looking to grow our presence in the Asian market as well as new direct sustainable supply into supermarkets all over the Asian continent.”
The Grape Company started a non-profit organisation ten years ago called The Grape Community, which has evolved into a self-sustainable company. Current projects include early childhood development schools for the children of farmworkers as well as orphanages in the major table grape areas. For more information or to make a contribution visit: https://www.thegrapecommunity.org.za/.
The Grape Company will be at Asia Fruit Logistica at the South African Pavilion, Hall 5 E02.