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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  24 Jul 2012

FOOD & BEVERAGES: Capespan Plucks Own Fruit


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CAPESPAN, the Bellville-based fruit marketing and logistics company, is keen on acquisitive growth outside SA and will look to own farms as well as joint ventures and alliances as part of a global procurement strategy.

This was revealed at a presentation at Cape-span’s AGM last month.

Last year Capespan sourced fruit from 20 international markets (other than SA) – including Argentina, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Namibia, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru and the USA.

Fruit sourced from SA in 2011 was 27.1 million cartons compared with 17.6 million cartons sourced from international production centres. The split between Capespan’s fruit procured locally and internationally was 61:39, a ratio Capespan wants to shift to 50:50 in the longer term (and hence the plan to push for owning production centres offshore).

Capespan has already tied up a sizeable production from its own farming ventures in SA, and it will be interesting to see how similar plans unfold globally. Capespan’s annual report shows the running of ‘own’ farming operations has been a bitter-sweet experience so far…

Capespan already has 4 786 hectares of production on its own farms, - including 950 hectares of sugar cane.

Over 2 100 tons of grapes are produced from 798 hectares, over 1 100 tons of citrus from 614 hectares and 353 tons of apples from 297 hectares. There are also smaller pear, plum and mango plantations.

In the year to end December 2011 Capespan produced some 4 786 tons of citrus and deciduous from its own farms.

These numbers stack up encouragingly, but Capespan’s annual report details a trying experience with the company owned farms. CEO Johan Dique reported that Capespan farms suffered increased losses due to “unresolved inefficiencies and severe weather occurrences in the Northern Cape”.

Dique, though, noted a comprehensive turnaround strategy had been set for all farms. “Positive results are expected during the 2012 crop, particularly in apple and table grape production.”

He stressed farming operations were regarded as an integral part of global fruit procurement within the new customer focused strategy of the Fruit Division.

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