FRUIT & BEVERAGES: SA Fruit Giant's Milestone With Shoprite
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TRU-CAPE, the marketers of 12 million cartons of apples and pears a year, has delivered its 10 millionth carton to the Shoprite/Checkers group.
Since its inception in 2001, Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing (Pty) Ltd, a company owned by the growers of Ceres Fruit Growers Ltd and Two-a-Day Group Ltd as their marketing arm, has maintained its position as the largest supplier of South African apples and pears to both the domestic and international markets. Tru-Cape markets fruit picked from 6000 hectares on 160 farms that span the Ceres and EGV (Elgin, Grabouw, Villiersdorp areas) and include the Langkloof in the Eastern Cape.
According to Tru-Cape managing director Charles Hughes, the 10 millionth carton to Shoprite Checkers through fruit and vegetable procurement business Freshmark, is another in a string of firsts. “Shoprite Checkers was our first customer and today they remain our biggest international one, even beating the UK supermarkets”, he says adding that through Shoprite Checkers, Tru-Cape fruit is available in Africa including, Namibia, Malawi, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, Swaziland and Zambia.
Hughes says Tru-Cape has invested in developing new and improved cultivars which have produced higher packouts, an increased number of correctly sized and ripened fruit. This translates into greater grower income and fewer quality claims against packhouses. “Our consumers at Checkers Table View, for example, are as exacting as Asda, JS Sainsbury or Tesco’s customers in London. The notion that the best South African fruit is exported is nonsense – Tru-Cape quality is the same around the globe,” he says.
Chief executive of the Shoprite Group, Whitey Basson commented that the last thing a customer remembers about the apples she bought is how it tasted and therefore the group will not compromise quality for price. “We source fruit and vegetables of high quality both locally and internationally, depending on where the best price for the best quality can be obtained. International sourcing also enables the group to provide our customers with new products and locally unavailable seasonal produce all year round. Due to the volumes and standard of quality available from Tru-Cape, the company is a reliable source of fresh produce to the group,” Basson said.
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