WINDHOEK: Two leading South African fruit producer groups have joined forces to invest in the Namibian table grape business.
South African table grape producer-exporter, Grape Alliance has expanded its grape offer in a unique partnership with leading pip-fruit and stone-fruit exporter, Du Toit International, which saw the two companies buying a table grape farm in Aussenkehr in the Karas Region.
This is according to information published on the website fruitnet.com on Friday.
The two companies bought the Aussenkehr Farms property from pioneering Aussenkehr grape grower, Dusan Vasiljivic, who founded the Namibian business decades ago.
Director of First Grapes Leon de Kock said his company will manage the farm.
According to De Kock, the 700 000 cartons of grapes produced by First Grapes in Namibia would be marketed by the Grape Alliance.
“It will bring our total grape offer to around five million cartons and we will have close to 1 100 hectares in production in South Africa and Namibia,” he said.
He describes the partnership with Du Toit International as the ideal partnership between producers with many decades of growing expertise in different product sectors.
The Aussenkehr Valley is one of southern Africa’s earliest growing regions and the grapes from First Grapes will supplement the volumes from the De Kock family’s own farm in Ausssenkehr.
“This will allow us to supply our customers from week 45 to week 16, which is the entire South African table grape season,” said de Kock.
According to the report, Grape Alliance also has around 260 hectares in production at Trawal in the Olifants River Valley in South Africa, as well as 450 hectares in the Hex River Valley, where the bulk of South Africa’s Crimson Seedless crop is grown.
Vasiljivic and his partners still own three other farms, as well as a number of packing facilities in Namibia.