FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
16 March 2020
KAAP AGRI LAUNCHES MAJOR INVESTMENT IN MANUFACTURING
Kaap Agri, the JSE-listed group trading in agricultural, fuel and related retail markets, has unveiled its first major investment of more than R150 million to further bolster its manufacturing capabilities.
The investment entails the establishment of TEGO Plastics (Pty) Ltd, a new subsidiary of the Kaap Agri Group, based in Brackenfell, Cape Town. TEGO Plastics specialises in the manufacturing of large format, injection moulded plastic products using state-of-the-art robotics and machinery. For this purpose, one of the largest injection moulding machines available in the global market was commissioned.
Set to provide 33 new job opportunities at the facility, TEGO Plastics will initially produce high-quality, food grade bulk bins for the agricultural market with the opportunity to manufacture additional solid form products at a later stage.
The TEGO Bulk Bin is a robust, versatile, food safe, bulk bin which is used in the harvesting and post-harvesting processes of fresh fruit and vegetables. Bulk bins are essential to the pome, citrus and stone fruit sectors.
The official opening of the manufacturing facility took place on Thursday, 12 March. Kaap Agri CEO Sean Walsh, said that the launch of TEGO Plastics is in line with the group’s strategy to diversify its manufactured product range and to offer more value to its agricultural customer base.
“With limited availability of new bins and product options it became clear to us that we could help address challenges producers face with the storage and transportation of fresh produce.” “Furthermore, Kaap Agri provides the ideal platform from which to launch such a product, not least of all because of its already-established infrastructure and the relationships built up with farmers over more than a century.”
“The TEGO Bulk Bin has unique design features that takes into account the specific requirements of the agricultural end-users who need cost-effective, food grade, and durable bins that perform well under different environmental conditions in various locations – under the blazing sun in an orchard, on a transport truck, in cold storage or in a packhouse,” Walsh said.
Leading operations at Kaap Agri’s new manufacturing plant in Brackenfell, TEGO Executive Manager Edward Smith explained that injection moulding is the process whereby molten material (in this case plastic) is injected into a mould. This then hardens into a shape that has conformed to the contours of the mould to shape the bin.
Some of the challenges producers face include: damage to produce due to limited air flow, bruising because of the shape of the inside of the bins, sun damage, as well as compatibility issues when moving bins with forklifts and pallet jacks.
Added to this, a strained availability of new bins means that farmers are resorting to using old bins that could potentially damage the produce.
“The transportation of fruit or vegetables from the field to the packhouse is possibly the most important part of the farming process. The difference between losing 6% and losing 10% of produce due to bruising or heat damage is huge, and it translates to a big difference on the bottom line,” Smith said.
Design features of the TEGO Bulk Bin include a smoother inside to help eliminate bruising, a centre support structure to prevent warping and bulging associated with heavy loads, unique drenching slots to ensure better ventilation and draining, and a higher base for use of a standard pallet jack.
The footprint of the TEGO Bulk Bin is compatible with the existing plastic and wooden bins in the market, and therefore it integrates seamlessly with existing customer stock. TEGO Bulk Bins are also designed to accommodate a transport support brace across the top of the bin, which minimises damage to bin and contents during transportation.
“We are focused on product innovation and are working with producers to incorporate feedback into our designs. We look forward to offering a truly superior product that addresses all the farmers’ concerns and makes a real difference to their operations and profit margins,” Smith said.
TEGO Bulk Bins are exclusively available from Kaap Agri’s network of Pakmark and Agrimark stores with two types of bins on offer: The TEGO Premium 2-Skid Bin is accessible from all 4 sides with a forklift and from 2 sides with a standard pallet jack; The TEGO General Purpose 8-Foot Bin is accessible from all 4 sides with both a forklift and standard pallet jack and available on special order. Standard bin colours offer UV-resistant, infrared-resistant and fade-resistant properties.
Customisation services in terms of colour of bins as well as branding of bins are also available.