MARKETING: Lucrative, But Expensive
Recent Western Cape Business News
MARKETING of apples and pears may be lucrative, but it’s also an expensive exercise with great sums of money required to keep the business blossoming.
Over the past two years for example, the parent companies of Tru-Cape invested some R150 million to upgrade their packing lines and cold storage facilities. MD Charles Hughes says this is not the end of it – more than R100 million will be invested further in the next two years to keep the whole operation up to speed. Tru-Cape’s computer-monitored warehouses and cold stores in Ceres and Langkloof will get the major portions of these investments.
These investments are important to maintain the efficient delivery to retail and wholesale customers in Europe, Britain, Canada, USA, the Middle East, Asia, locally and rest of Africa.
The whole chain of course starts at the farms, where only superior fruit is selected, fruit that meets the exacting standards of Tru-Cape’s highly trained quality controllers.
Once they have approved the fruit’s freshness, aroma and appearance, taste and juiciness, it is carefully packaged and transported all over the globe. From the orchard to the retail shelf, modern efficient methods and safe procedures are followed, in strict compliance with international health protocols such as Globalgap (good agricultural practice).
All processes throughout the chain are traceable and take place under the watchful eyes of Tru-Cape’s quality controllers. Handling is kept to a minimum throughout the chain.
Hughes says Tru-Cape believes in building long-term, sustainable business relationships with its retail and wholesale customers. “We respect their regional insights and respond quickly to their feedback, comments and suggestions, tailoring our products and packaging accordingly”.
“To support our customers further, we implement bold promotional drives and initiate creative campaigns designed to grow the consumer appeal of our products,” he says.
A primary focus of Tru-Cape’s operation is the packaging of its fruit.
To meet the demands of its increasingly environmental-conscious market, Tru-Cape has developed a range of modern, modular, environmental-friendly cartons that allows palletisation onto standard pallets currently used world-wide.
Included in the range are cartons designed specifically for direct, point-of-sale merchandising.
Throughout the chain highly qualified controllers regularly inspect the fruit and rigorously monitor the temperature and humidity levels of its storage environment en-route from the farm to the retail outlet. Ports are selected on the basis of proven handling ability and facilities.
The company’s quality controllers also work closely with the SA Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), the independent statutory body responsible for maintaining export standards.
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