RedSun Dried Fruit & Nuts – a Northern Cape-based processor and distributor of raisins and pecan nuts – has secured a R120 million funding from the Norwegian Funding Fund for Creating International locations (Norfund) to spice up manufacturing.

The funding will probably be used to construct two new processing factories that are anticipated to create as much as 200 new everlasting jobs, in accordance with the privately-run firm.

In flip, Norfund will take a shareholder position on the firm and acquire a seat on its board.

RedSun’s founder and CEO Peter Kuilman tells Moneyweb the corporate had been looking for traders to finance its enlargement for the previous 18 months.

“The thought of securing cash to construct these two factories has been sitting with me for a very long time. However I have to say Norfund is kind of courageous for investing within the South African context, given every thing that has been taking place within the nation.”

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The brand new processing services embody a brand new pecan nut manufacturing facility which is being constructed subsequent to the corporate’s first raisin manufacturing facility in Keimoes within the Northern Cape.

Kuilman believes the proximity of the factories will probably be advantageous for employees to collaborate and help one another with the performance of each services.

He expects the brand new facility to course of as much as 4 000 tons of pecans per 30 days as soon as processing takes place all-year spherical. That is possible inside three years.

The second facility will probably be a brand new raisin processing plant within the Olifantsriver area in Vredendal, 540 km south west of the prevailing manufacturing facility.

Kuilman says this resolution was primarily based on the rising manufacturing of raisins within the space – from 4 000 tons per 30 days a number of years in the past, to 11 000 tons at the moment.

“The South African raisin trade wants further capability. We’re getting nearer and nearer to 100 000 tons of raisin manufacturing. There must be a brand new position participant,” he provides.

He factors out that Vredendal is the best location to construct the brand new raisin processing manufacturing facility as a result of it can additionally considerably lower expenditure on logistics transferring ahead.

In a press release by One Thousand and One Voices (1K1V), the corporate’s present funding accomplice, the fund says that it’ll additionally introduce the primary moist cracking facility within the southern hemisphere which can result in elevated processing for pecan nuts.

“Since our first harvest, now we have been utilizing know-how that has been developed in South Africa particularly for the macadamia trade which has additionally been well-suited for our pecan trade.”

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Kuilman says the moist cracking machine is the most effective path to reaching high quality pecan nuts that are in excessive demand.

Reflecting on the corporate’s greatest run in 2020, Kuilman feedback: “RedSun didn’t cease processing for sooner or later regardless of our authorities’s exhausting lockdown, as a result of we’re integral within the agricultural worth chain… Most significantly, the demand for our product escalated dramatically in the course of the lockdown. Folks have been adapting their diets to go well with more healthy existence.”

He believes that the Norfund funding offers new impetus to small South African farmers within the area, who’ve been trying to break into new markets.

“There’s a nice alternative for farmers to get into this enterprise and diversify their markets. We’re providing farmer’s safety and totally different retailers for his or her merchandise which is normally solely concentrated in China,” he says.

“Our markets are primarily based everywhere in the globe. I’m speaking about South America, Europe, the Center East, New Zealand, the US and extra.”

In keeping with 1K1V, this funding is predicted to assist a further 6 000 jobs not directly, by “investing in a rural a part of South Africa the place manufacturing job alternatives are scarce.”

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern