The Arisa Packhouse, located on the N2 at Buffeljags near Swellendam in the Southern Cape, has undergone a change in ownership. ANB Investments – a group with holdings in several South African agricultural companies – has recently acquired a 51 % stake in the Packhouse and it is planned that the facility will undergo refurbishment and technological upgrades. ANB Investments, also owns the global ClemenGold mandarin and LemonGold seedless lemon brands, and with the acquisition of the Arisa Packhouse, the company has increased its fruit packing capacity.
“Arisa Packhouse which is located centrally between the Western and Southern Cape Indigo Fruit Farming operations (the fruit producing arm of ANB Investments), will augment the capacity of the other two packhouses located in the region,” says Kabous Vryenhoek, General Manager. “With the increase in plantings of citrus in the area, combined with Indigo farms’ own citrus plantings in the Western Cape, there was a need to secure additional specialized packing capacity,” he adds. The Packhouse will in future be able to handle additional products including soft citrus and lemons, whereas in the past the 9,500 m2 facility largely focused on packaging persimmons, avos and plums from the surrounding farming communities. This ability to pack these various fruit types makes the packhouse unique and packing will take place over almost a 11-month period. More permanent jobs are therefore created.
ANB Investments acquired 51% of equity in Arisa Packhouse from KAV YAM, an Israeli investor, with the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation of SA) retaining the remainder of its shareholding in the Packhouse. The IDC’s Head of Agro-processing and Agriculture, Manoj Seonath, commented: “We are pleased to welcome ANB Investments as the new shareholder in this venture. We are certain that their experience and understanding of the agricultural dynamics of this region will be invaluable going forward.”
While the majority of the Group’s farming and packing operations are spread across South Africa, including in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, ANB Investments has been expanding its citrus production footprint to include the Western and Southern Cape. These regions offer an ideal climate for the production of especially soft citrus and lemons. The Western and Southern Cape areas are Black spot free and allow for entry into more diverse markets. The lateness of fruit from this area also effectively extends the company’s supply season by several weeks.
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