Tons of apples from bountiful harvest donated to hungry mouths

What does a farm do with a surplus of 90 tons of apples? Mouton’s Valley Farm in Piket-Bo-Berg decided to donate them to old age homes, preschools and flood victims.

Thanks to an exceptionally good season, this family farm – which also produces pears, nectarines, mandarins, lemons and buchu oil – had 200 crates of Panorama Golden Delicious apples in its cold storage facilities, but no market for them.

Local and export demand was limited and juice companies didn’t have the capacity to process them.

According to a statement, Mouton’s Valley Farm then approached Standard Bank’s OneFarm Share programme, which distributes farmers’ surplus production to organisations that provide food relief. Instead of destroying the products, they can be donated to OneFarm Share or sold at a lower price.

In April and May, the 90 tons of apples were taken to organisations such as old age homes, early childhood development centres and other community feeding schemes. At Juweeltjie Educare, the children could even take apples home so others in their households had fresh fruit to eat.

Some of the apples were donated to Gift of the Givers for disaster relief efforts after destructive winds and floods in the Western Cape.

Mouton’s Valley Farm received a section 18A tax certificate for the full value of the donation, which will help compensate for what would otherwise be a significant financial loss.

Michele Starke, director of Mouton’s Valley Farm, says the donation reflects their commitment to supporting local communities and promoting agricultural practices that reduce or eliminate waste.

Brendan Jacobs, head of agri-business in Standard Bank’s business and commercial banking division, says surplus production and the resulting food waste are problems for commercial farmers and food producers, who are understandably reluctant to incur additional costs to find a solution.

Through OneFarm Share, the bank supports farmers in their efforts to reduce waste and farm in a more environmentally conscious way without increasing their costs. The programme can respond quickly and provide benefits for various parties.

More information about OneFarm Share is available here.

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