Nurturing future growers

Pictured are, from left, Eddie Labuschagne, Overberg high Sc hool principal, and pupils Lutje Roux, Jan Kotze and Willem Roux.

The rolling hills of Caledon are also home to Overberg High School.

As part of an industry outreach programme, Grade 11 pupils in the school’s agriculture department, one of the few available in the Western Cape, visited Tru-Cape’s parent company, Two-a-Day, in Grabouw.

Quality manager, Johan Saayman, took the group of pupils around the packhouse and demonstrated how the company uses state-of-the-art camera sorting and packing technology.

Michiel Botha, the school’s agriculture teacher, said the visit described the whole marketing chain which included aspects such as ripeness testing, cold stores and controlled atmosphere storage where pupils better understood that apples and pears picked in the pre-optimum stage were best suited to controlled atmosphere storage which, simply put, placed the fruit
in a rest state until the required sales window opened.

The pupils were also exposed to the plant breeding and grafting process to create trees of the same variety and to the innovative ways that orchards are maintained pest-free with minimal chemical intervention.

“We also visited Radyn Farm in Villiersdorp and met the Roux brothers who are Tru-Cape growers”, Mr Botha said.

Tru-Cape’s marketing director, Conrad Fick, said the company supported a passion for agriculture as the nation’s food security depended on the next generation of growers. “In the past we have also supported young scientists and continue to support international educational outreach programmes as our commitment to nurture the interest in young people to develop careers in agriculture.”

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