For those who don’t know, what is a ClemenGold?
The ClemenGold trade name is given to a specific member of the citrus family, called the Nadorcott mandarin. Only the finest mandarins harvested by ClemenGold International receive the ClemenGold name and seal of approval. The fruit was first cultivated more than 40 years ago, when Murcott seedlings [a cross between a mandarin and a sweet orange] were planted at a farm near the small town of Afourer in the Atlas mountain region of Morocco. Growers soon discovered that Murcott fruit loses its seeded character when bees do not pollinate the trees, and so the Nadorcott mandarin variety was developed.
Are ClemenGolds only produced in South Africa?
No, Spain and Morocco are also big producers of ClemenGolds. This “dual hemisphere” supply ensures that there is fruit on-shelf for eight or nine months of the year.
In addition to being virtually seedless, how else do ClemenGolds differ from other varieties of mandarin?
ClemenGold fruit are easy to peel and the smooth and slightly flattened rind is reddish-orange, while the inside of the fruit is a deep, vibrant orange. They also have the perfect balance of sugar (11-14 per cent) and acid (0.8-1.4 per cent) according to market preferences.
As a company, does ClemenGold International own its own farms, or does it work with
ClemenGold mandarins are grown on numerous South African farms owned by Indigo Fruit Farmers, the production company that is part of the same parent company, ANB Investments, which owns the ClemenGold brand. In addition, partner growers – in South Africa and also in Spain, Morocco and Australia – are accredited to contribute to the ClemenGold supply programme.
What eco-friendly farming methods do you use?
The continuous development of cleaner and greener processes and practices form an integral part of our commitment to make a lasting contribution in terms of environmental sustainability. Water naturally plays a vital role in the cleansing of fruit once it reaches our pack houses and the construction of a biological wastewater treatment plant at our largest packing facility is the most recent investment in this goal. The plant treats all effluent from the fruit processing activities at the pack house.
The use of permanent net structures in South Africa’s northern region is primarily to protect our fruit from hail damage and any wind scarring associated with our summer storms. In the Cape, the nets protect our trees from the damaging south-eastern and north-western winds and the high radiation during summer, as well as helping to boost the humidity during the dry summers. All this contributes immensely to maximising growth.
ClemenGolds are handpicked, which attests to the special care with which we handle the fruit from tree to table. The fruit is sun-ripened on the trees and great care is taken during the handpicking process to ensure that only fruit that adheres to the optimum colour and other outward specifications finds its way to the ClemenGold pack line. Our well-trained pickers use special scissors to pick the individual fruit, making sure that the remaining stem is the right length so as not to damage its neighbours during the next part of the journey.
What corporate social responsibility projects is the company involved in?
At ClemenGold, social responsibility and the investment in people is imbedded in our culture. We know we have a contribution to make that can change the lives of our staff and their families, the communities in which we operate and, on a wider basis, throughout South Africa. The company and its various subsidiaries are all actively involved in initiatives such as sports development, wellness and health, education, arts and culture and economic empowerment. From early childhood development to post graduate and employment level, we have programmes in place to prepare people for viable careers. Mentorship is also a core business approach for us, and we encourage senior managers to actively share their
experience and expertise.
For more information, visit clemengold.com