Avid Avo Farmers in Tzaneen area | iinfo TZANEEN

One of the prime products from the fruitful earth of the Valley of the Olifants (Tzaneen area) is the avocado. The oil content is between 5% and 30% of the fresh pulp weight and makes it an important source of energy, while its minerals and proteins contribute to making avocados a nutritious food source. Other fruits contain little of none of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K it contains.
The largest avocado farms in the Tzaneen area are Allesbeste, Westfalia and ZZ2.
Allesbeste was founded in 1927 when Mr Adalbert Henry Ernst, a British national, immigrated from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to buy the farm on which Allesbeste's head office is now situated.
His interest in South Africa was first piqued as a young boy when he met Boer prisoners of war during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1902) in Ceylon, where his father was stationed as a lawyer. After serving as a medical doctor in the British army during the First World War, he immigrated to South Africa and used his military pension to buy the 200ha farm just outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.
Today, the family-managed Allesbeste farm has 230ha of avocado orchards. Although different cultivars were experimented with, the Hass cultivar still dominates worldwide, with two-thirds of all avocados consumed being from this cultivar. It is 80 years old and not suited to all climates.
A dark-skinned chance-seedling of unknown parentage was discovered in the early 1990's by Mr. Dries Joubert, who handed it over to Dr Andre Ernst at the Allesbeste Nursery for further development and research. After registering plant breeders' rights for it, he named it after Joubert's farm, Maluma, in 2004.
Maluma was the first South African cultivar to reach the world stage by achieving full export status during 2006. Maluma was officially introduced at the VI World Avocado Congress in Chile, November 2007. An annual Maluma Day is held in Tzaneen, this year on 7 March. Maluma day is open for all avocado farmers – as a significant information and networking day. (www.farmersweekly.co.za and www.allesbeste.com)
The avocado season covers almost the entire year, with different cultivars suited to different seasons.
Cultivar            Levubu                    Tzaneen
Fuerte              February to April         End March to July
Pinkerton         April                              May
Ryan                 July                                  July to September
Hass                May to June                    Mid May to End August
ZZ2 is a South African farming enterprise operating in the Limpopo Province, as well as in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, North-West province and Namibia. They produce avocados, tomatoes and a myriad of other fruit. The ZZ2 brand is a well-known icon in South Africa with a history of more than a century. ZZ2 is a world leader in large scale, nature-friendly agricultural practices, also known and registered as Natuurboerdery.
Why the name, ZZ2? After the Anglo-Boer War in 1902 a regulation ordered that farmers receive a registered number (branding iron) with which to brand their livestock. In 1903 the code ZZ2 was awarded to Burt van Zyl, the grandfather of Bertie van Zyl – founder of the ZZ2 farming enterprise. It became a trademark for all ZZ2's products.
One of their beliefs is that the answer to sustainable farming lies in subjecting technology to an open system which involves change and adaptability, growth in process, aiming at the future and seeking contact and interaction.
ZZ2's avocado orchards are densely planted to increase yield per hectare and the trees are pruned to be no more than 2m in height. Smaller trees produce more fruit and make harvesting easier.
The ZZ2 Afrikado nursery has the capacity of delivering 150 000 trees per year. Currently 800ha is dedicated to avocado planting and growing.
(Google: www.farmersweekly.co.za)
Dr Hans Merensky initiated the first avocado orchard plantings at Westfalia Estate in 1933, but the orchards had root rot. In the late 1970s a treatment for was developed and avocado production took off in the area. Part of the Hans Merensky Holdings Group, Westfalia Fruit is a multinational, all-year supplier of fresh subtropical fruit and related products to international markets. Westfalia grows avocados in its own orchards, sources produce from around the world, and processes related products in its processing plants. International accreditations prove that Westfalia is committed to produce hygienic, safe and healthy food while ensuring the sustainable and responsible management of its bio-resources.
The company has sales offices in the Netherlands, Austria, England, France, California,​ Colombia, Chile, Peru​​ and South Africa. Fresh avocados, avocado oil and frozen purée (guacamole) are equally popular products.
Westfalia is a board-member of the World Avocado Organisation (WAO), united global avocado entity of the world's top avocado-producing countries. (Source: Westfalia website)
The South African Avocado Growers' Association (SAAGA) has the vision to grow its status as a world class supplier of avocados to the global and domestic market. The CEO is Derek Donkin and contact details are info@subtrop.co.za or call 015 307 3677 / 306 6240. (Source: Google, www.westfaliafruit.com)

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