Symrise promotes sustainable cultivation of white grapefruit in South Africa

Stable, sustainable grapefruit supply aiming at a positive impact on local communities.

White grapefruit provides a valuable raw material to Symrise to produce tastes for sweets and drinks. To ensure stable supply, the company has sourced them from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and planned to engage in the local communities. It has attached particular importance to its supplier incorporating sustainability factors. With one of them, Symrise has entered into a partnership, and installed technological equipment into the production line to enable upcycling of side streams that would otherwise go to waste. The company has further revealed its intention to invest in long-term partnerships with local farmers to achieve best agricultural practices and good yields, delivering products while supporting local families. This approach will enable Symrise to improve its environmental footprint, and also to expand its citrus range with further taste profiles.

South Africa cultivates many different citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruits. Its province KwaZulu-Natal has become an increasingly important for the supply of white grapefruits and their taste. Symrise has recognised this growth potential, and aimed to engage in the region – first in the targeted development of agricultural know-how, second in gathering young talents on agricultural professions, in a journey to support South Africa’s efforts in building economic stability.

Stephan Raeker, global competence director for citrus at Symrise, said: “To secure this valuable raw material, we invest locally in technology and work towards including training as well. This shall help create a perspective for current farmers and the next generation. Also, we are extending our sustainable citrus footprint, and add white grapefruit to our extensive portfolio.”

The approach will also aim at supporting young Zulus who are looking for a vision for their future. Their communities received land during the country’s democratisation process. Now, the knowledge and resources to use it agriculturally will be helpful. For this reason, Symrise has co-developed plans with farmer partners to train the next generation in good agricultural practices and business skills. This, according to Symrise, shall benefit farmers and harvesters like. The company has also been following the ambition to contribute to income opportunities and a fulfilled life.

Besides local training, Symrise has invested in factory equipment, which includes its SymTrap technology. SymTrap accesses valuable side stream from juice concentration process, and helps to avoid waste by turning these aroma materials into taste solutions.

Symrise is committed to sustainability in other areas as well. Most of the company’s South African partners are certified according to the Global GAP and SIZA sustainability standards. Going further, the company will work with beekeepers in the KwaZulu-Natal province, because the insects pollinate valuable flowers and thus contribute to conserving the wealth of nature.

“With our sustainable investments, we are helping people in South Africa to earn their own living,” Raeker concluded. “This is how we are investing in the future of the region, which will in turn contribute to securing the future supply of high-quality signature taste citrus fruits.”