Africa’s biggest supermarket, The Shoprite Group, has celebrated the fact it has purchased more than 20m cartons of apples and pears from Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing.
The fruit is sold to Shoprite and Checkers customers in 2,689 outlets across 15 African countries and the Indian Ocean Islands.
In 2010, when Tru-Cape marked the delivery of its 10 millionth carton of fruit to The Shoprite Group’s fruit and vegetable procurement arm Freshmark, both parties expressed their hope for continued mutual success in future.
Tru-Cape said the milestone had been achieved due to growth in the fruit and vegetable category as well as Tru-Cape’s increased ability to source apples and pears from different climatic regions. It has been boosted further by Tru-Cape’s Gauteng-based storage and distribution facility, which means that more fruit than ever before is reaching South Africans.
Roelf Pienaar, Tru-Cape’s managing director, said that Tru-Cape had worked hard to improve its efficiencies. This was evidenced by having been selected as a Supplier of the Year to the Shoprite Group in 2015.
He noted that Tru-Cape growers were among the most innovative in the industry and two had recently been recognised as Farmer of the Year and Emerging Farmer of the Year.
“As a wholly grower owned business, our integrated approach to owning and managing the value chain has proven beneficial for our growers and suppliers alike," Pienaar explained. "Despite our leading position, we continue to search for ways to do what we do better with ongoing attention to our quality, people and processes.”
Freshmark’s managing director Dr Johan van Deventer said that Tru-Cape’s focus on people, processes, quality and continuity had resulted in quality produce delivered on demand, with Shoprite Group customers having uninterrupted supply of quality fruit every day of the year.
“As we mark the purchase of the 20 millionth carton of fruit from Tru-Cape for our customers in Africa, South Africa and elsewhere in the world we look ahead to a continued relationship," Van Deventer noted. "This will further benefit Shoprite and Checkers customers, the growers and Tru-Cape going forward."
Pienaar added that with expanding orchards the company would have to be able to manage more than 50 per cent more fruit in the next five years. “We look forward to a further strengthening of our ties with Freshmark to deliver these to the African continent and beyond.”