08 Sep HARVESTFRESH LAUNCHES NEW PACKHOUSE FACILITY
HarvestFresh, a large commercial fresh produce agro-processor and a member of the Thebe Investment Corporation Group of companies recently launched its new processing facility, increasing its production capacity by 100%. The increase in capacity of the processing facilities seeks to enable HarvestFresh to keep up with its clients demands and growth. The clients serviced by HarvestFresh include the four big South African chain stores: Freshmark, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Spar, to mention a few. Their wide range of products is supplied into various provinces in South Africa.
Situated in Meyerton in the Midvaal District Municipality, HarvestFresh was founded In 1994 by George and Tracey Maxted, and has since become a major supplier of quality fresh produce. Their main product is ready-to-eat leafy green vegetables and salads i.e., lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spring onions, leeks, and herbs. Most of the produce is grown in soil from seven different locations while the remainder is hydroponically grown. The Midvaal area caters for the summer crop production which is in August to May. The company sources their crop from outgrowers as far out as Brits and Marble Hall mainly during the winter season.
The company is a significant contributor to employment as it employs over 500 full time employees. An additional 250 seasonal workers are hired depending on seasonality requirements. The recently launched processing facility is envisaged to provide more permanent jobs over the next few years.
HarvestFresh plays a significant role in supporting several local small-scale farmers and growers who supply their produce to Harvest Fresh. To date, HarvestFresh has worked with several small-scale farmers over the past ten years to grow their business. With a new packing facility, it is expected that this number will increase, in line with HarvestFresh and Thebe’s goals to grow small-scale farmers.
HarvestFresh’s relationship with the Thebe Group started back in 2017, after an opinion piece published in the Sunday Times’s Business Times section by Mr Nhlanhla Nene. This led to George Maxted reaching to Thebe to explore strategic partnership. It is this partnership that has seen HarvestFresh grow from strength to strength culminating to the launch of this impressive packaging facility. The launch of the new packing facility was held on Friday the 2nd of September. It was a huge success and the event was enjoyed by both members from the Thebe Group as well HarvestFresh office staff, pack house managers, supervisors and those in key leadership positions.