SOUTH AFRICA – The Shoprite Group has purchased over 20 million cartons of apples and pears from Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing for its 2,689 Shoprite and Checkers outlets in 15 African countries and the Indian Ocean Islands.

In 2010 Tru-Cape marked the delivery of its 10,000,000th carton of fruit to The Shoprite Group’s fruit and vegetable procurement arm Freshmark.

Growth in the fruit and vegetable category as well as Tru-Cape’s increased ability to source apples and pears from different climatic regions along with Tru-Cape’s Gauteng-based storage and distribution facility, meant more fruit is reaching South Africans than before.

Roelf Pienaar, Tru-Cape’s managing director, said as a wholly grower owned business, its integrated approach to owning and managing the value chain has proven beneficial for its growers and suppliers alike.

“Despite our leading position we continue to search for ways to do what we do better with on-going attention to our quality, people and processes,” said Pienaar.

Freshmark’s managing director Dr Johan van Deventer said Tru-Cape’s focus on people, processes, quality and continuity has resulted in quality produce delivered on demand.

This meant Shoprite Group’s customers can have uninterrupted supply of fruit throughout the year.

“As we mark the purchase of the 20 000 000th carton of fruit from Tru-Cape for our customers in Africa, SA and elsewhere in the world, we look ahead to a continued relationship that will grow even further to benefit Shoprite and Checkers customers, the growers and Tru-Cape going forward,” said Van Deventer.

Pienaar said Tru-Cape’s growers in the Elgin, Grabouw, Villiersdorp and Vyeboom valleys, the greater Ceres region and in the Langkloof, near the Garden Route, along with its grower-owned processing, packing and storage facilities Two-a-Day and Ceres Fruit Growers, means that based on trees in the ground at the moment the company would be able to manage more than 50% more fruit in the next five years.