5 years ago

Northern Cape Business 2018-19 edition

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Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the Northern Cape Province. In addition to comprehensive overviews of sectors of the economy, this publication has several special articles which focus on transformative projects, such as the solar and wind farms rapidly coming on line and the massive potential represented by the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, a multi-billion rand international project already taking shape in the vast open plains of the Karoo. Updated information on Northern Cape is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine Northern Cape wine, grapes and raisins are exported all over the world. The 466 families of Bloemsmond, Currieskamp and Soverby who created the Blocuso Trust in 2010 are starting to see good returns. The success of the grape and raisin farming co-operative is good news for land reform and agricultural enterprise development. The initial purchase of the land on the Orange River came through a grant facilitated by the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and the department has continued to support the project via investment in infrastructure and in training and planning. Blocuso is affiliated to the wine and raisin commodity groups and the co-operative receives technical and marketing support from Orange River Wine Cellars (OWK) and Pioneer Foods (SAD). Wine and juice for Rabat are cultivated at Blocuso, a unique selling point, along with the grapes that become Villard Blanc and Chenin Blanc. In 2017 the Villa Blanc harvest was 900 tons. Expansion into Colombard cultivation is planned. On a provincial level, there are plans to add 40 000 tons of grapes for wine, juice and raisins to the Northern Cape’s capacity. A draft six-year plan has been developed for the Northern Cape Vineyard Development Scheme which will be implemented by the DALRRD, the National Agricultural Marketing Council, the Land Bank, Distell, Winetech and Orange River Wine Cellars. SECTOR INSIGHTS A community trust is reaping good returns near Keimoes. • Colombard plantings do very well in the Northern Cape. Almost a third of South Africa’s table grape crop is produced in the fertile Orange River region of the Northern Cape. The South African table grape industry has been investing in some new varietals which produce a better yield. Seventy percent of the Sultana grapes grown in the Lower Orange River Region are used for vine-fruit products. There are 1 250 Sultana grape growers in the province, producing three Sultana-type NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19 38

OVERVIEW grapes which rank among the best in the world: the Sultana Clone H5, a new hybrid called Merbein Seedless, which has proved resistant to splitting after rain, and the most popular type, the 143B. The following vine-fruit products are produced in the Northern Cape: Sundried Thompson Seedless Raisins; Dipped Orange River Sultanas; Golden Sultanas; Muscat Raisins; Monuca Raisins. An example of successful Sultana-grape production in the province is the SAD Vine Fruit (Pty) Ltd, which owns the largest dried-vine fruit processing and packaging plant in South Africa. The Upington-based firm employs more than 350 people when in full production. As much as 80% of vine fruit grown in South Africa is exported, primarily to Europe. Diversified agri-company KLK recently purchased a half share in Carpe Diem Raisins, an exporter of high-quality raisins. The raisin factory has a production capacity of 12 000 tons and the company packages and sells about 22% of South African raisin production. All of the products in the Carpe Diem Group, including the table grapes being displayed by farm workers in the photograph opposite, and pecan nuts, are certified organic. With about 135ha under production, the farm lies 10km east of Upington The South African Table Grape Industry Partnership promotes South Africa in international markets. Wine According to SA Wine Industry Statistics, the Orange River region has about 5% of the total hectares under wine grapes in South Africa, and just over 3% of the total number of vines. New vineyards are being planted. Warm to hot conditions, coupled with the nutrient-rich land on the banks of the Orange River and sharply contrasting temperatures at times, combine to produce consistently excellent wines. Average annual rainfall in the area is 150mm, but the eastern part of the region from Kanoneiland to Groblershoop have been receiving more than their due in recent seasons. The Northern Cape’s Orange River wine region accounts for 25.6% ONLINE RESOURCES Blocuso Agricultural Co-operative: Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Orange River Cellars: SA Wine Industry Information & Systems: South African Table Grape Industry: South African Wine and Brandy Company: of South Africa’s Colombard vines and 10% of Chenin Blanc. The focus is on Colombard and Hanepoot grapes. Orange River Wine Cellars (ORC) is a large co-operative with six wineries. Grapes are collected from 749 farmers. OWC has a winery at its head office in Upington and at Keimoes, Groblershoop, Kakamas and Grootdrink. Orange River Concentrate Producers (part of the ORC group) produces about 7.5-million litres of white grape juice concentrate, a percentage of which is exported to Japan where the Itochu Corporation uses it in soft drinks and food. ORC supplies wine to Tops at Spar which has more than 700 stores across the country and makes Tops’ private label “Carnival”. ORC has also been selling wine in China, the USA and Europe for a number of years through its Norweco division. Unique labelling aims to capture local markets, so ORC wines are called “Star Tree” in the US and “Goddess” in Denmark. The Douglas Wine Cellar produces about 6 000 cases per year. Together with the Landzicht cellar (just over the border in the Free State), the Douglas Wine Cellars is a GWK company. The Douglas cellar crushes 7 000 tons of grapes every year and produces 5.6-million litres of wine. Hartswater Wine Cellar is a part of the region’s other big agricultural company, Senwes. Two wine brands (Overvaal and Elements) are produced in the Hartswater irrigation area north of Kimberley. 39 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19

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