Your first choice in fruit juice

Fruit processor and manufacturer Granor Passi offers an expansive product range that includes concentrated citrus, apple and pear juices, as well as pulps, preparations for yoghurts and many more.

Granor Passi has served the South African fruit juice industry for more than 50 years and has good claim to being the country’s market leader. Processing more than 250,000 tonnes of fruit per season at its four factories – in Polokwane, Langkloof, Letsitele and Marble Hall in Limpopo Province – it produces a vast range of fruit products for some of the biggest food and drink manufacturers worldwide, exporting to all continents except Australia.

With its processing facilities located in some of South Africa’s best fruit-farming regions, and 91 per cent of the company owned by its fruit suppliers, Granor Passi ensures its fruit is picked with care and processed quickly for end products of the highest quality. The remaining 9 per cent of the company is held overseas; a remnant of Granor Passi’s colourful history.

Founded on fruit

The company has gone through many changes on its way to becoming South Africa’s number one fruit processor and manufacturer. National sales manager Dewald Horn says Granor Passi “has been a fascinating company from the start”. He explains how it was founded in 1956 as a small company processing mainly granadillas and oranges – from which the company’s initial name, Gran-or, originated.

It became Granor Passi when the Van den Berg brothers bought and combined it with their Swiss company, Passi, in 1973. This opened the doors to international trade, starting the ball rolling for further growth. “In 1985 the brothers, keen to secure increased supplies of citrus, clinched a deal to sell 50 per cent of Granor Passi to LG Fruit Co-op,” Horn says. “LG Fruit Co-op’s motivation for investing was to achieve higher fruit prices for its members and to enter the value-adding fruit market.”

The acquisition juiced up Granor Passi’s volumes of citrus – which makes up around 75 per cent of annual production – from 4,000 tonnes in 1984 to 14,000 in 1985. In 2001 LG Fruit bought up the majority of the Van Den Berg’s remaining shares, enabling the company to grow, steadily and steeply, into the market leader it is today.

Bursting with brilliance

Horn explains that the company’s growth has been sure and steady – through maintaining a constant supply of high-quality fruit, balancing local sales with exports and building long-term relationships with clients.

But the secret to its success has surely been its innovation in adding value to fruit. Its research and development-led approach has led to a vast and high-quality product range covering far more than just pure juice; including blends, pulps, concentrates and syrups, in addition to by-products such as cells and oils. According to Horn, Granor Passi’s formulated 100 per cent unsweetened and sweetened nectar fruit juice concentrates are particularly “highly sought-after”.

The fruit processor and manufacturer creates whatever its clients require, whether exotic fruit juice flavours, fruit preparations for yoghurts or low-calorie drinks.

Products can be packed in various packing options and sizes and provided frozen, aseptically packed or chemically preserved, further enhancing clients’ options. Horn says Granor Passi’s proficiency and flexibility come from its resources, including a “very strong research and development team” and a strong focus on quality.

“We have state-of-the-art quality control, as well as research and development laboratories employing the best technical experts in the fruit juice industry,” he adds. “These laboratories address our clients’ every need and ensure we remain the market leader through offering top-quality products and constant innovation. Quality has always formed the backbone of our success and made us the largest producer of formulated fruit juice concentrates in South Africa.”

Production powerhouse

The quality of Granor Passi’s production methods and products is proven in the many quality management systems with which it’s accredited.  All its facilities operate in accordance with the codes of practice SANS ISO 9001:2008 and more recently FSSC 22000.

“In addition, all our factories have implemented the HACCP food safety system and Granor Passi is a member of SGF International, which means we voluntarily meet additional requirements to safeguard the quality of our products, as well as increase customer and consumer safety,” Horn says.

Granor Passi is currently upgrading and increasing the capacity of all its processing facilities to meet growing demand from its customers. These are primarily bottlers and manufacturers in the fruit juice industry, but members of the public can also buy Granor Passi concentrates directly in 1-litre and 5-litre bottles from the company’s several factory shops or distributors, located in Gauteng, Limpopo, Bloemfontein, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Province.

The company has already achieved so much but to stay ahead of the competition, it’s vital that Granor Passi stays true to its proven formula for success.

“When you are the market leader it’s very easy to become complacent; therefore we have strategically set ourselves goals to ensure that we keep on securing fruit and delivering top-quality products at competitive prices to our clients,” Horn says.

“Our strategic focus – availability, consistency and quality – that’s what sets us apart from other citrus processors.”