CAPE TOWN, Dec 19– A new Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) fruit export company has entered the South African fresh fruit export business.
The Rainbow Produce Company is supported by fruit exporter In2Fruit, which will support and mentor Rainbow, which will be fully supported by In2Fruit financially, until it has become self-efficient.
The company will start by exporting grapes from Siyazana Klipland in the Hex River Valley near De Doorns, some 140 kilometres northeast of here.
About 2,400 cartons of table grapes will be exported to various European countries this weekend, says the Managing Director of In2Fruit, Sarel Joubert, who adds that it is important for farmers to have a clear idea of where their produce goes and how much money comes in from their products.
He says once Rainbow Produce is fully established, it will have a 50 per cent black shareholding.
“The main reason why we started with Rainbow Produce Company is to put the focus and the energy in this value chain. From primary production we aim to offer the right product with the right quality, arriving to the market making sure we make a difference within the agricultural environment. It is important that we give the mentorship and the direction to these growers in order for them to grow,” says Enoch Ralehoko a 26- per cent shareholder of Rainbow Produce.
He says he would advise young black people to grab opportunities that will educate them in agriculture and farming.
“The test is going to be: how do we empower our people? People will then also be able to point and say this is the right model because there are a few things that are happening,” he adds.
“One of the things is for me to know the marketing and to know where the produce is going. Where do we get the fruit? We also want to empower our people, to make sure that they know; to be transparent.”
Alec Abrahams, the co-founder of Rainbow Produce and a farmer at Siyazana Klipland, in the Hex River Valley, says he is looking forward to a bright future. “I’m very excited, really. Normally they ask us to get involved with a BEE company where they export your products. So I am very excited for this new company and I know we can make a success of it. ”