Over 100 years of growth
Rhodes Food Group has a rich history dating back over 100 years and through organic growth, acquisitions and investment, the business has grown into a leading, diversified food producer serving multiple markets across all continents.
The acquisitions are shown in the calendar year in which they became effective and unconditional – some acquisitions were announced in one year but only became effective in the following year such as Pakco and Ma Baker
Rhodes Food Group completes a R1 billion capital investment programme over three years, with extensive production capacity expansion and upgrades to maintain a world-class manufacturing base.
The group completes its two largest acquisitions to date. Durban-based Pakco has a portfolio of strong and well-known brands including Bisto, Hinds and Southern Coating and enables the group to enter the dry packed foods market. Ma Baker, a leading pie producer in KwaZulu-Natal, strengthens the group’s position in the growing pie and pastry market.
Alibaba Foods, a Cape-based manufacturer of Halaal Eastern food, is acquired to provide increased exposure to the fast-growing snacking and convenience food categories.
Five acquisitions were completed in the first year after listing. The purchase of Western Cape-based fruit juice producer, Pacmar, facilitated the group’s successful entry into the fruit juice market. This was followed by Boland Pulp, a leading manufacturer of fruit concentrates and purees, which was also the catalyst for the entry into the baby food market through the Squish brand. The purchase of Deemster enabled the group to enter the bottled salads and pickles market. The group expanded its presence in the pies and pastry market with the acquisition of Saint Pie based in Mpumalanga. The acquisition of the food service business of General Mills South Africa extended the group’s offering into dry and frozen bakery products.
Rhodes Food Group lists on the JSE on 2 October 2014. More than a century after its founding.
Rhodes Food Group acquires Trout Hall®, a premium long-life fruit brand in the United Kingdom.
Rhodes Food Group acquires the Bull Brand business from KAP Industrial Holdings. In addition to the iconic Bull Brand range, the acquisition included other well-known brands Gant’s and Spekenam.
A management led buy-out sees the Ivor Ferreira Trust sell Rhodes Food Group in 2012. The new shareholding consortium comprises Capitalworks, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and management.
The Group acquires the Tulbagh based fruit canning operations of Del Monte. A state-of-the-art Ready Meals factory is built in Gauteng to produce fresh and frozen ready meals, including fresh pasta and sauces.
Rhodes Food Group acquires the Giants Canning vegetable cannery in Limpopo.
Rhodes Food Group acquires Sunpie.
The Group installs a state-of-the-art packaging facility for fruit in plastic cups in its Eswatini operation, affording Rhodes Food Group entry into the international fruit snacking market.
Rhodes Food Group acquires Magpie Foods and the Magpie brand, expanding its offering into pies and pastries.
Rhodes Food Group (Pty) Ltd. is formed. Anglo American Farms sells its food division, including the RFF canning operation and Wonderland Foods, to the Ivor Ferreira Trust. The Trust re-names the operation RFF Foods (Pty) Ltd., which was later changed to Rhodes Food Group (Pty) Ltd.
Del Monte becomes the first fruit processor in South Africa to do both canning and aseptic fruit processing.
Zululand Fruit Producers buys Eswatini Fruit Canners.
Wonderland Foods is started in Caledon in the Western Cape, the company specialises in recipe-prepared meals. Many years later, Wonderland Foods forms an important part of the Rhodes Food Group Ready Meals operations. The same year, Del Monte buys SAPCO, which can trace its roots to 1954.
Swazican (built in 1954) enjoys a strong export relationship with the USA until sanctions against South Africa are introduced in the 1980s. Swazican and Zululand Fruit Producers form close ties.
In 1969 Anglo American, De Beers and Rand Selection Corporation Ltd. become majority shareholders in Rhodes Fruit Farms and rename the business Anglo American Farms, also known as Amfarms
Calpak purchases the Tulbagh Fruit Industry and embarks on a major expansion drive. The new owners change its name to the South African Preserving Company or SAPCO.
Cyril Hurwitz, a butcher and farmer buys a canning factory at Krugersdorp and launches the now iconic Bull Brand offering. The company subsequently acquired the Spekenam and Gant’s brands.
Ward Gant opens Gant’s Food in Strand.
Ivor Ferreira buys Zululand Fruit Producers pineapple farm and canning factory and finds an export partner in the form of Peaty Mills Plc. in London.
Swazican Fruit Canners, processing pineapples and citrus, is built in Malkerns, Eswatini. In the same year a group of farmers form Tulbagh Fruit Industry Pty Ltd. Engineering firm H.G. Molenaar was instrumental in building the factory’s equipment and the company remains a key supplier of innovative packaging and production equipment to Rhodes Food Group.
Rhodes Fruit Farms establishes the Ayrshire dairy herd. Today, it is one of the oldest and well-known stud herds in the country.
Rhodes Fruit Farms opens the first cannery in South Africa at Groot Drakenstein for the production of fruit and jam.
Rhodes Fruit Farms Ltd. established.