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Northern Cape Business 2023/24

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The 2023/24 edition of Northern Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Northern Cape Province. 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 province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector-focused infrastructure development. Green hydrogen is the subject of a special feature in the early pages of the journal, but the subject comes up again in the Energy Overview.

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine Extra measures are producing high-quality fruit for select markets. SECTOR INSIGHT Raisin production in the region is into its second century. The Northern Cape has just 3% of South Africa’s vineyards but 18% of the nation’s white wine grapes are cultivated along the Orange River. Within the region, about 64% of grapes are white seedless and about 21% are red seedless (SATI). A final table grape crop national estimate for the 2022/23 season estimated that volumes would be significantly down on the previous season. Although volumes were expected to be as much as 18% down on the 2021/22 figure, the country would still export about 63.6-million 4.5kg equivalent cartons in the 2022/23 shipping season. The final production figure for the Orange River Region for 2022/23, where the season finished slightly earlier than other areas, was 16.4-million cartons produced, down from the 22.3-million cartons packed the year before. Exports of South African grapes and wine to China have been on an upward trend for several years but South Africa’s wine exports are still subject to tariffs on entering China, despite both countries being members of BRICS. Dippenaar Choice Fruit, an Orange River region grape producer which is headquarted in Kakamas, already exports to seven countries in South-East Asia and the Far East, including China and Singapore. The region as a whole has 5 688ha of vines and the Orange River Producer Alliance represents its farmers. According to the Credit: Carpe Diem Raisins SATI, the grape industry in the Northern Cape employs 1 215 people permanently, with a further 12 415 people finding seasonal work. Harvesting happens from early November to early February. Almost a third of South Africa’s table grape crop is produced in the fertile region. The South African table grape industry has been investing in hardier varietals which produce a better yield. Raisins About a quarter of raisins exported by South Africa go to Germany, and in the 2022/23 season, extra attention was paid to that market in terms of the quality of fruit, with the aim being to produce fruit with few residues. Industry body Raisins SA is leading efforts to improve farming practices with a view to improved products. Specific areas of focus include improved soil preparation, drying infrastructure and trellis systems and using water more efficiently. The recent adoption of SA- GAP (derived from the Global Good Agricultural Practices) will help to raise and maintain standards with the sector. The NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 26

OVERVIEW is geared for growth. In 2022 the total marketable volume of raisins produced was 67 000 metric tons. Wine Groblershoop Cellars is one of five facilities owned and run by Orange River Cellars. Credit: Orange River Cellars SA-GAP Certification Programme is a set of practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes and results in safer and higher quality food and non-food agricultural products. With certification, small growers and producers are more easily able to have to access to international markets. One of the Northern Cape’s and the country’s biggest producers is Carpe Diem Raisins which processes and markets about 25% of South Africa’s total raisin production annually. The company farms 400ha of organic grapes for producing raisins and there are plans to develop a further 400ha by the end of 2025. Most of the raisins produced by the company are these varietals: Thompson Seedless, Golden Sultanas, SA Sultanas and Flame Seedless. About 5% of production is sold into the domestic market with the balance exported to buyers in Europe, the UK, North America, Scandinavia, Australasia, the Middle East and Asia. Carpe Diem uses an interesting variation on drying techniques, the dried-on-vine method (pictured). Grape clusters and their shoots stay attached to the trellis system despite being cut loose from the vine. This helps to protect the fruit from rain, reduces contaminants and the amount of handling of the fruit. In the centenary year of the raisin sector in the Orange River region, 2019, a record 74 830 tons was harvested from 13 085ha (Western Cape and Northern Cape combined). Hopes of reaching more than 81 000 tons were dashed in 2020 by too much rain at the wrong time, but the industry ONLINE RESOURCES Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform: Raisins South Africa: SA Wine Industry Information & Systems: South African Table Grape Industry: The Northern Cape’s Orange River wine region accounts for 25.6% of South Africa’s Colombard vines and 10% of Chenin blanc. The focus is on Colombard and Hanepoot grapes. Orange River Cellars (ORC) is the region’s biggest producer, sourcing its grapes from 850 grape producers in the area known as the Green Kalahari. ORC has a winery at its head office in Upington and a further four 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. 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. Vinpro represents 2 500 South African wine grape producers, wineries and wine-related businesses. ■ 27 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24

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