GENERAL MANAGER
Tiaan Viljoen

“I find it rewarding to be part of a dynamic organisation utilising the latest technology to improve farming performance. I am very proud of the great team we have managed to build on our estate.”

The group manages two existing banana operations in Mpumalanga, one as a 49% shareholder in Mawecro Farming (Pty) Limited, and the other on the Farm Nico’s Kamp leased from government. The farm leased by Mawecro Farming is owned by the Mawewe (community) CPA, having been purchased from CBL in 2010 as part of the governments land restitution program. The farm owned by the Mawewe CPA has approximately 250 ha of bananas, while Nico’s Kamp has 170 ha. The group is also currently developing a 300 ha banana project in southern Mozambique in a 50/50 partnership with Silverland/Silverstreet adjacent to the Pequinos Lebombos dam, some 100km from the town of Komatipoort and 60km from Maputo. This operation will also market its production through Lebombo Growers.

The total South African banana production is marketed locally, as bananas for sub-tropical regions are generally unsuitable for export due to under-skin discolouration caused by low winter temperatures. This makes the market susceptible to dramatic supply-demand and consequently price fluctuations.

The group’s total banana production is distributed by Lebombo Growers, in which the group has a 27% shareholding, in line with its product supply. Lebombo operates on a similar basis to TAD, distributing its surpluses to grower shareholders via a rebate on product supplied. Lebombo supplies approximately 23% of the South African market. It has been particularly successful in the Western Cape where it has established a state-of-the-art distribution centre near Wellington to supply selected retailers directly. A similar facility has recently been established in KwaZulu-Natal.