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Grape partnership pays immediate dividends

UNIVEG South Africa’s collaboration with Bayer CropScience has created an integrated solution that addresses a customer need at farm level and produces measurable benefit throughout the supply chain.

This project has proved to be a sound value proposition with tangible benefits to all stakeholders. As the grower, we have achieved better results on the farm through reliable disease control, reduced waste and improved quality for our customers, which has led to increased income.” (Fred Dupont, UNIVEG South Africa)

As part of Bayer CropScience’s Food Chain Partnership programme, UNIVEG South Africa has been working closely with Bayer to enhance table grape production at Môrester Boerdery, our farm in Western Cape, South Africa. The Food Chain Partnership aims to implement best agricultural practices according to international standards to meet customer requirements in terms of food quality, safety, traceability and sustainability.

The initial objectives of the project at Môrester Boerdery were fourfold:

  • To improve the quality and marketability of the grapes;
  • To introduce optimal crop management methods;
  • To monitor and enhance the sustainability of table grape production;
  • To increase exportable yields and extend shelf life.

The programme first worked to raise on-farm awareness of quality improvement, disease and pest management, as well as the safe use and handling of pesticides. Bayer’s Food Chain Team provided training and technical support and monitored and guided pest-disease management and spraying operations. 

In order to maintain product traceability and measure the results and sustainability of progress, the innovative Bayer Sustainability Radar resource was implemented, improving record management and documentation at farm level.

Although implementation of the integrated solution is on-going, it has already shown its worth. In 2013-14, the Sustainability Radar registered significantly reduced product decay across the farm’s four main varieties - Early Sweet, Sugrathirteen, Flame Seedless and Ralli Seedless.

Bayer continues to work alongside UNIVEG South Africa to introduce additional techniques designed to build on the positive outcomes already achieved.

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