The Japie Groenewald Trust is the legacy of Japie Groenewald, founder of packer-exporter Betko Fresh Produce, who showed true entrepreneurial spirit in building what is today one of the leading grower-exporter organisations in South Africa.
Japie Groenewald was one of the South African fruit trade's most colourful figures. He was a leading entrepreneur who helped to transform the country's fresh produce business from its highly regulated form during the single-channel era, to deregulation, that has seen exports from the country double in little more than 15 years.
Japie Groenewald was one of the most modest members of the South African industry and has made an immeasurable contribution to the fruit growing community in the Villiersdorp region
Dawie Rossouw, a well-known Capespan and industry fruit specialist, who has been involved with growers in the Elgin-Villiersdorp region for more than 30 years.
Japie grew up on a smallholding alongside the Sonderend River, below the Riviersonderend Mountains in the Western Cape, where he later founded family farm, Oubos.
During the regulated era, he started his own local fruit distribution business and, when international markets opened up, seized the opportunity and later become one of South Africa's leading exporters.
Betko's modern cold storage and fruit packaging complex at Villiersdorp was subsequently established and became a rallying point for many smaller producers.
During the first decade of the new century, the Betko business expanded rapidly and Japie played a pioneering role in developing the African market. Betko now packs around 50,000 tonnes of apples and pears every year.
The Japie Groenewald Trust controls the investments of the Groenewald Family.
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