Greenway Farms is SA’s largest carrot producer. Rugani and his business partner, Vincent Sequeira, produce 40% of SA’s carrots and over 200 tons of the vegetables are produced under its trademark daily. They have farms in Tarlton in Gauteng Province, Bokpoort in Limpopo Province, and Christiana in Free State Province.
The juice gained popularity by being the first ever vegetable juice produced in the Southern Hemisphere.
Rugani says that he invented the juice concept after more than 30% of their carrot production was classified as second grade. Second grade carrots are broken, oversized or deformed, resulting in less interest from consumers.
He also invented the required machinery to produce the juice and is the first person in Africa to offer carrot juice. The juice has been in the market for 2 years now, and experimentation with different blends started in October 2017.
The company’s juice range now includes carrot juice, carrot and pineapple juice, tomato juice, carrot and ginger juice, as well as beetroot juice.
The different juices have numerous health benefits, as there are no added preservatives, sugar or water. Rugani says that many people are still unaware of the health benefits of vegetable juice. However, beetroot juice is the most popular in Africa – especially among athletes.
“Beetroot is popular because it is part of the African tradition. It is healthy, because it opens blood vessels and increases performance,” he says.
The juice is currently distributed throughout SA and to some neighbouring countries, and will be expanding to Zambia within the year. Rugani says that they are hoping to eventually export to all African countries.
“Africa is my marketing space since there is no other farmer that produces carrot juice on the continent. A lot of people find the juice sophisticated.The popularity and growth of the juice is mainly because of the expanded flavours,” he adds.
Considering the popularity of the beetroot juice,Rugani says that he will most probably experiment with the beetroot and ginger. “In the future, I am hoping to create green blend juices, using spinach, celery and cucumber.”