South African table grape producer-exporter, Grape Alliance has expanded its grape offer in a unique partnership with leading pipfruit and stonefruit exporter, Dutoit International, which saw the two companies buying a table grape farm in Namibia’s Aussenkher region.
The two companies bought the Aussenkehr Farms property from pioneering Aussenkehr grape grower, Dusan Vasiljivic, who founded the Namibian business decades ago.
“We established a new company, First Grapes, which will manage the farm,” said Leon de Kock, director of First Grapes, and marketing director at the Grape Alliance.
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 5m cartons and we will have close to 1,100 hectares in production in South Africa and Namibia.”
He describes the partnership with Dutoit International as the ideal partnerships 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.
Grape Alliance also has around 260ha in production at Trawal in the Olifants River Valley, as well as 450ha 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.