Mari Viviers – Pick n Pay

Avocados in service of 100-year old women’s shelter in central Johannesburg

The avocado buyers of NuLeaf Brands and South African retailer Pick n Pay were profoundly moved by the women and children they met at the Frida Hartley Shelter in Yeoville, Johannesburg.

On the very morning of their visit as part of charity and teambuilding, the shelter had actually run out of food, recounts Mari Viviers, Pick n Pay avocado buyer (right, with an infant at the Frida Hartley Shelter).

“They’d been praying for a miracle, they told us. The shelter currently houses 40 women and 13 children, many of whom are babies."

The young children living with their mothers at the shelter, established in December 1922, captured their hearts and the avocado buyers decided “to put the goodness of avocados to good work” through raising funds through sales of Hass and Fuerte avocados for Frida Hartley Shelter’s goal of increasing the monthly housing capacity to 100 women and children by the end of this, their centennial year.

Mari decided to develop a new line for Pick n Pay to enable them to raise funds for the shelter through avocado sales. The shelter offers psychosocial support and training to women who have experienced trauma, abuse or homelessness.

“In partnership with NuLeaf Brands, R5 from the proceeds of every black box of avocados sold from June until August will go to the Frida Hartley Shelter to help them with their day-to-day requirements, as well as aid in their goal of increasing their housing capacity,” Mari explains.

Very good avo quality this season
Pick n Pay is a year-round supplier of avocados to the South African market. “By aligning ourselves with strategic partners, we are looking forward to growing the local availability of avocados this year and ultimately eliminating the need for importing fruit during the off-season periods,” she says.

Pick n Pay aims to reach 12 months of local avocado supply in two years’ time.

She remarks that avocado quality and supply have been very good so far this season, despite the initial concerns after the main supply areas like Tzaneen had been hit by hail late 2021 and early 2022.

The main supply regions at the moment is still Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The harvesting of KwaZulu-Natal avocados is due to start at the beginning of July.

For more information:
Mari Viviers
Pick n Pay

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