THE HISTORY OF THE
SOUTH AFRICAN RAISIN INDUSTRY

RedSun Raisins is a privately owned, South African company, established in 2009. We are processors of high quality raisins which are produced along the banks of the Orange River, in the Northern Cape Province, of South Africa.

The Orange River, is well known for fresh table grapes and raisins, both of the very highest quality. There are also well established wine cellars in the region.

Fruit basket

The first dried fruit was exported from South Africa during 1745. In 1833, Mr JP Jordaan of the farm Goudini, along the Orange River, was awarded a medal for his raisins at the British Empire Exhibition. During 1898, the first vineyards of the Sultana variety were planted by Mr Piet Celliers. Today, Sultanas represent the majority of the grape varieties used to produce raisins along the Orange River. During 1908, a co-operative was established by the raisin producers in order to ensure that only the finest quality raisins were produced and exported from South Africa. The South African Dried Fruit Co-operative (the “SAD”) established its first depot in 1938, and invested heavily into research, and product development. In order to guarantee the quality of the raisins that were exported, legislation was passed in 1938, which ensured that only raisins processed by SAD were capable of being exported.

Wine cellar
Kalahari raisins
.

During 1994, as part of the new democratic Government of South Africa’s liberalization of “single channel marketing” in the Agricultural sector, the raisin industry was opened to other processors and marketers for the first time.

This had a monumental effect on the industry, which was liberated to the free market principles.

Today there are 6 major raisin processors along the Orange River. Quality has always been the driving force of the industry, and there are now quality standards that have been introduced to the industry, to which every exporter must comply. These standards are enforced by means of inspection, by the PPECB, acting on behalf of the South African Department of Agriculture, of every export consignment, leaving our shores.

The size of the South African raisin crop averages 40 000t per annum.

RedSun Raisins is in the forefront of the ambitious, new generation of raisin processors in South Africa. We believe that our solid, international marketing network will ensure the development of our business, and with us, the continued prosperity of the 250 growers along the Orange River, who deliver their raisins to us.