MARKETING: Tru-Cape Enhances Fruit Fortunes
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE fruit and wine sectors are key pillars of the Western Cape economy. One of the leading players to ensure the ongoing welfare of our fruit farmers is Tru-Cape, which more specifically is tasked with this area’s apple and pear marketing – both to the export as well as the local markets.
One can arguably state that, since its establishment in 2001, Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing has succeeded in not only revitalising the Cape’s R1.8 billion fruit industry, but it is also ensuring the Tru-Cape brand will entrench its foot-hold both on the export and local markets.
Some two-thirds of annual production of apples and pears are destined for overseas markets, with the balance finding its way into local outlets.
Tru-Cape MD Charles Hughes says the company’s focus – consistent quality of product and efficient marketing – has been well received both locally and abroad.
Tru-Cape basically acts as distributors and marketers for Ceres Fruit Growers and the Two-a-Day Group although, increasingly, other smaller producers have also approached the company for its services.
“We believe that by building up the fruit industry in the Western Cape we are playing an important role in developing and empowering all the people in the region,” Hughes says.
He and his team, based in Somerset West, are excited bout further global expansion, but it is their service to the local market that they find most rewarding.
“Local supermarket shoppers are as discerning as their counterparts in Tesco and Sainsbury in Britain”, he says.
Locally Tru-Cape’s primary outlets are the Shoprite/Checkers and Spar groups.
“Our main aim is to maintain an effective marketing organisation with the technical expertise and relationship – building capacity to serve the local market on the one hand and the global export market on the other”.
“For supermarkets there is a huge cost saving dealing with a company like ours where they know that one call and one invoice will take care of their fruit to the required standard,” Hughes says.
The company is flexing its marketing muscle with the developed brand for Tru-Cape that makes branded fruit the premium over non-branded.
Hughes says although the market leader domestically, the success of the ‘Cape’ brand in the UK has led to consumer awareness of 67%, right up there with top international brands.
“It has been our strategy to simultaneously build a brand for Tru-Cape that we create value-added promotions for our key retail partners”.
“We want to create a brand so strong that our trading partners won’t be able to do without us”, he says.
“Consumers today demand the ability to trace food they eat to source and in doing so they want to know not only what quality procedures are in place, but also how the workforce is treated.”
“Our orchards and operations are regularly assessed to ensure compliance. Happily we score very high as best practice is part of our core belief,” Hughes says.
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