Capespan is to drop the use of its famous Cape brand on fruit grown outside South Africa and Namibia,following a vote of its grower board.
Over the years, the company has built up a portfolio of fruit from other countries such as New Zealand apples and Mexican grapes which have borne the brand.
Since industry deregulation, Capespan has used the famous blue and white oval logo as a quality symbol and brand on fruit from outside South Africa.
This reflected the general trend which has also seen Jaffa and Outspan following the same route. However, despite success elsewhere, members now want
its use restricted to South African and Namibian produce.
Martin Dunnett, Capespan’s procurement manager, said New Zealand apples would be marketed under a new Capespan label this season. Other sources might follow next year. “Capespan is a name which represents quality and value,” he said. Meanwhile, the country’s major apple exporter was fully supportive of the initiative by newly created Fruit South Africa to revive a national image.
A further initiative, funded by South Africa’s Golden Delicious growers through the Fresh Produce Export Forum, has agreed to a levy to give fruit a boost in UK supermarkets.
The cash will be used to highlight freshness - seen as superior to balances of the controlled atmosphere stored European variety. It will include provision of a ‘Proudly South African’ sticker for apples and a label for prepacks.
Andy Macdonald, UK co-ordinator, said: “We should start to see South African Goldens get more prominence by the end of the month.”
David Shapley