Schoonbee Landgoed, a renowned producer and exporter of table grapes and citrus has just opened a new state-of-the-art grape packing facility in Groblersdal, Limpopo Province.
The farm produces a wide variety of table grapes and citrus and exports to 33 countries, mostly geographically located in the Northern Hemisphere (Africa, Far East Asia, South East Asia, Middle East, Northern Europe and Southern Europe, United Kingdom, Russia and Canada). The table grapes and citrus are well sought after in local supermarkets and throughout the world.
The farm currently boasts 380 hectares of lush vineyards under net covering, which supplies an extensive range of the best seedless and seeded table grape varieties available in the world.
New varieties available at the farm include:
- Cotton Candy®, Candy Heart®, Candy Crunch®, Sweet Sapphire® and Sweet Globe® from International Fruit Genetics (IFG),
- Autumn Crisp® from Sun World
In 2016 the farm celebrated 45 years of offering unparalleled quality produce to its global customer base.
Notable expansion took place in the last two years with the additional acquisition of Goedehoop farm [10 km from Schoonbee Landgoed] and the partnership with Peace Table Grapes in Moganyaka. This exciting growth pushed the existing facility to the maximum. A new packing facility was required to increase speed due to the location of the farm in the rainy area and to ensure flexibility on pack permutations and options offered.
The new 8 000m² grape packing facility will also ensure the farm’s service to its international markets with the most stringent standards in the world.
“Schoonbee Landgoed is committed to provide unparalleled quality. The new grape pack house with its dedicated team will ensure that each bunch of grapes that we take care of reaches the best possible home in the shortest space of time,” says Gert Upton, Senior Marketing and Sales Manager of Schoonbee Landgoed.
The packing facility is 175 meters long and 45 meters wide, making it the longest under roof packing facility currently in South Africa. The packing facility boasts advanced machinery and modern technology including the latest Marco and Soft Pro Scales, 2000kw refrigeration [2.5 tons of refrigerant] and more than 340 light fittings to adhere to the required lux levels.
Our passionate team stays dedicated to environmental friendly and sustainable practices in shrinking our carbon footprint, without compromising production. Therefore, energy saving refrigeration, lighting and fresher units were installed together with storm water recovery systems.
Our team of 700 newly trained employees will be working diligently to pack the 20 000 – 25 000 cartons [4.5 kg equivalent] of fruit per day. These 140 pallets packed will be loaded unto 4 refrigerator trucks daily and sent off to their final destinations.
We are grateful and humbled by our Heavenly Father’s provision and guidance during this entire process. All the glory and honour be to Him!
We would also like to commend each of our valued team members, suppliers and contractors for their passion, dedication, hard work and supporting our vision to the last detail.
PHOTO: Charles Upton, Gert Upton, Gert Schoonbee, Ista Upton, Gerbrand Bothma, Arnold van der Walt, Deon Stadler and the team from Unigro
PHOTO: Deon Stadler, Leon, Herbert and Van Stryp Elektries, Hi -Tack Labels, Paltrack, Marco, FridgeTech, Pierendal
and Convey Systems [all the contractors and suppliers for the new grape packing facility].
PHOTO: Gert Upton, Miguel (Green South Trading) and Charles Upton
We are excited what the future will bring!
(All photographs by Littish Photography)