Packaging

Phase 1 (Land)

Our citrus is harvested by hand and picked right above the cadac on the stem so as not to damage the tree. The fruit is then placed in 15kg picking bags by the labourers and transferred into 400kg crates for transportation to the pack house.

Phase 2 (Pack house)

There it is tipped from the crates into water, so as to limit the impact damage. A high pressure cleaning machine removes any excess dirt off the fruit. Class 4 fruit, i.e. suitable for juicing, is removed through the first sorting belt.

Phase 3 (Pack house)

After this only extra class, class 1, 2 and 3 remains, which then passes through a heated chemical bath. This bath contains GLOBALG.A.P approved chemicals. From the bath it passes through a drying machine, using rotating brushes and air.

Once the fruit is dry it passes through a wax application machine. Again GLOBALG.A.P approved wax is applied. The fruit is then dried in a heated drying tunnel using only heated air.

Phase 4 (Pack house)

From this it is now sorted into extra class, class 1, 2 and 3, with extra class, class 1 and 2 for exporting and class 3 for our local market. We do, from time to time export class 3 fruit. From here all 4 classes go through separate sizing machines which sizes small, medium, large and extra large for our local market, while extra class, class 1 and 2 are sized, depending the variety into 7/8 sizes ranging from a count 28 to a count 125.

Phase 5 (Boxing)

After it has been sized, the fruit is packed into either telescopic or open top cartons in the prescribed patterns, so as to result in a carton of at least 15.5kg. We also pack fruit into 500kg carton bins. This is then palletised on treated pallets and strapped, suitable for road and ocean transport. The pallets are then chilled and loaded into 40ft containers on the farm and transported to the Durban harbour.

The whole process, from picking to harbour takes less than 4 days and from the harbour to Europe, depending on the shipping line and weather conditions, up to 3 weeks.