II. Company Director and Major Partner Growers
Major Partner Growers
Mahela Group (PTY) Ltd was started by the late BJ Vorster in South Africa 1942, who originally cultivated potatoes, tomatoes and rice, with the first litchi’s planted in 1947. His first cultivation of citrus began in 1950 and presently the farm is run by the third generation of Vorsters.
Mahela Citrus produces 60,000 tons of fruit per annum. They are the largest producers of Star Ruby in South Africa. Annually, Mahela produces close to 3 million cartons of citrus in the Letsitele and Hoedspruit areas. Aside from citrus, diversification into bananas, avocados, macadamia nuts, litchis and mangoes have recently been undertaken with great success.
Together, the Mahela Management team strives to enable, promote, and support sustainable farming in South Africa in order to maintain their leading position in the South African Citrus Farming Industry.
For over 20 years Dakahlia has been growing top-quality produce in Egypt. From the fertile lands of the Nile delta to the red sands of the desert, Dakahlia has planted hundreds of hectares of fruits, mainly grapes, citrus, strawberries, and vegetables of numerous types.
Dakahlia is committed to their core values of quality, consistency, and efficiency.
Their mission is to share the bounty of nature with the world and to become a brand internationally synonymous with fresh and healthy produce.
Their vision is to cultivate the best that nature provides using a unique combination of organic methods and specific protocols.
They differentiate themselves from other agricultural companies through their stance on operating with organic methods, forging the harmful preservatives and chemicals used in modern agriculture. They focus their efforts on providing fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables through meticulous crop selection and supervision. They are proud to be recognized as one of the best agricultural companies in Egypt. Also, their dedication to be the number one choice of consumers has given Dakahlia international recognition.
Packing houses are located inside their farms, minimizing the time between harvest and cooling in order to guarantee freshness of their produce. In order to meet the various needs of their clients, they provide a wide range of produce with high quality and efficient packaging and shipping to ensure that their products arrive fresh at their final destinations.
In order to maintain the highest quality, they’ve made major investments in infrastructure and facilities. Their standard practices include stringent cleanliness, an accurate traceability, and staff training and development. Their produces are in full compliance with all international standards. Subject to the special protocol, citrus fruit will be intact, free of bruising/healed cuts, and free of any rotting or deterioration. Additionally, all fruit will be free of signs of internal shriveling, free from damage caused by low temperature or external moisture, and free of any foreign smell and/or taste.
III. Mission and Vision
“Aims for quality than volume”
Van Doorn is a company that rather “aims for quality than volume.” They have decided to focus on a very small grower core, but growers with volume, quality, varietal mix, and innovation. They only accept the grower’s fruit in his own brand as they believe that the grower will pack the best quality in his brand. In their agreement with their growers, they obtain exclusivity on their brands for certain markets. They like to believe that they form an integral part of the growers’ value chain and as such the relationship between themselves and their core growers must be seen as one of a long-term partnership. Currently, they source their products from Egypt, South Africa, and Turkey.
Their business model is not that of a traditional agent. They buy their product on a fixed price basis and sell into the market on a fixed price. They have a strict quality protocol, and once they pass the quality protocol, the responsibility of the product is 100% becomes theirs. This puts the pressure on Van Doorn to handle and market the product at an optimum level.
Van Doorn relies on the expert advice, skills and service of their trusted partners in delivering the freshest and highest quality fruit. To guarantee the quality of the fresh produce they deliver, they have developed long-standing relationships with specially selected suppliers and service providers, all of which are registered with the Perishable Product Export Control Board (PPECB).
Each Van Doorn supplier farm is GLOBAL G.A.P (Good Agricultural Practice) accredited, and accreditations are renewed annually. GLOBAL G.A.P accredited products have been farmed in a manner that minimized environmental impact and maintains a responsible approach to worker health and safety.
Their extensive knowledge on quality standards are applied to ensure that all produce meets and exceeds the differing international market expectations. All produce is monitored according to strict quality standards by their experienced in-house and sub contracted QC inspectors. Cold chain management is their priority. Therefore, temperature recorders are fitted at loading to continuously monitor the temperature of the container throughout the voyage.
3. Citrus (grapefruit, lemons, oranges)
Citrus is cultivated nearly all provinces of South Africa, but the highest concentration of citrus is found in the Northern Province, the Mpumalanga region and the Eastern Cape. South Africa cultivates all the main citrus varieties i.e. Pomelos, Grapefruit (Red/White/Pink), lemons, Navel types, Valencia types and Soft Citrus varieties.
The average industry citrus export crop is approximately 1.7mil tons with Valencia types – 43%, Navel varieties – 23%, Lemons – 10%, Soft Citrus/Manderin Varieties – 8% and Pomelos and Grapefruit – 16%.
South African citrus is well known for its excellent color and high internal quality. This is due to the cold winter nights and mild winter day time temperatures. In many trade circles it is the preferred origin for citrus. South Africa citrus is being exported all over the world with an ever-growing demand.
South Africa produces a large range of table grape varieties that are exported all over the world. Being one of the oldest table grapes exporters (industry more than 120 years old), South Africa is known globally for its professional and well-presented quality grapes from the biggest retailers to the smallest street market. Well established and dedicated to exports, 88% of South Africa’s produced table grapes are exported, making it the eighth biggest exporter in the world.
5. Stone Fruit (plums, nectarines, peaches)
Stone fruit is a non-scientific term that refers to drupes, fruits in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside.
Plums come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Some are much firmer-fleshed than others, and some have yellow, white, green or red flesh. The taste of the plum fruit ranges from sweet to tart, it is very juicy.
Peaches and nectarines are the same species, but are commercially regarded as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterized by the fuzz-less skin.