Industry: Sugar, fruit and tree nuts
Location: South Africa
Crookes Brothers Limited was established over 100 years ago and is a leading agri-business in Southern Africa. It currently farms close to 8,000 hectares of irrigated land with a focus on plantation crops. Its core businesses are the production of sugar cane and fruit (apples, pears and bananas). The business has been profitable in each of the last 10 years and has further expansion potential.
The business has three joint venture companies managing substantial farms for local communities. These are irrigated sugar cane and deciduous fruit farms that are widely seen as outstanding models of working positively with communities. These joint ventures typically have a 15 to 20 year life where Crookes Brothers helps to manage and build each farm, providing technical training to help the community build expertise in large scale commercial and irrigated farms. Thousands of people in these communities benefit through the skills transfer program and from the sharing of the profits. The farms also provide a valuable model for South African’s land transformation process.
Crookes Brothers has also developed a large macadamia nut farm in Mozambique. Employment and skills transfer are especially valuable in this area given the relative lack of alternative employment. The team is developing an out-grower program and aim to supply improved seed-maize and seed-beans grown on the farm.