The efforts of SA Harvest, an organisation distributing food to food-insecure communities, have moved up a gear through their partnership with major apple producer Dutoit Agri and Maersk.
Simon Bhekeweni of Dutoit Agri, signing off on apples donated to SA Harvest for distribution to food-insecure communities
“At Dutoit Agri we understand that the world is going through some troubling times and that hunger and the access to fresh fruit remains a massive issue,” explains Gerrit Genis, marketing coordinator at Dutoits in Ceres, Western Cape, of his decision to approach SA Harvest.
“We believe in the amazing work they are doing, to feed the hungry and provide healthy fruit and veggies to struggling communities.”
Dutoits currently donates between one and five pallets of apples a week (a pallet contains 49 cartons of 18.2kg) that go to communities across Cape Town. In future that might include pears and vegetables, depending on supply and other factors.
“We try support the surrounding community where we can, but we also understand that with the help of companies like SA Harvest we have the opportunity to make an impact on broader surrounding areas,” he says.
Darty and Jenny Louw of Cape Concrete are always ready to place their services and equipment at the disposal of SA Harvest
Completing the chain
Initially, bakkies (small pickup vehicles) had to be arranged to collect and distribute the fruit, but the logistics were neatly solved when Maersk came onboard to assist with the transportation and storage of the fresh produce through use of a refrigerated container, from SA Harvest’s Ceres pack store for further distribution to beneficiaries across the greater Cape Town area.
Leigh Ramsay, Africa Head of Equipment and EMR at Maersk Ocean Customer Logistics, says: “By integrating our assets and leveraging relationships with existing service providers, Maersk is proud to be partnering with SA Harvest to contribute to improving the lives of South Africans. It is something that resonates deeply within our organisation.”
Gerrit adds: “This is the start of our relationship with SA Harvest, but we look forward to many more years of working together to feed the hungry people of our country.”
“Getting both Dutoits and Maersk on board has just been amazing,” Margolite Williams, head of Western Cape partnerships at SA Harvest, observes. “The vitamin C is going to flow through everyone’s veins. Everyone deserves a good meal.”
According to SA Harvest, it has collected almost 7,000 tonnes over almost three years of food close to the end of its shelf life, and distributed it to communities around Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
"Nothing is ever too much for us," Margolite remarks, adding that they invite all farmers, packhouses and food producers to reach out to SA Harvest if they have fruit and vegetables at risk of going to waste.