Long-term sustainability is not only our legacy, it is a part of our DNA.
At Halls, when looking at the future increased demand for avocados, sustainability is at the top of our agenda.
In terms of our general supply process, fruit is received from our own and grower partner farms and packed for export at best in class accredited pack houses. Avocados require stringent cold chain management to ensure quality arrival at customer which is not possible by airfreight in large commercial volumes and therefore once packed, our fruit is immediately placed into cold storage. It is then transported from pack houses to ports via road freight using reputable transportation companies.
Due to the large volumes of fruit as well as the sensitivity of subtropical fruit to cold chain management, we ship our avocados by sea to reach its intended destination in the best possible condition for consumption.
We also ensure that we select service providers that keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and resource efficiency to ensure that our product is shipped from source to destination in the most efficient manner possible without comprising quality.
The benefits of shipping are that it provides better control over quality as we can control the cold chain as well as we receive guaranteed departure schedules and freight space. Due to the large volumes being shipped, a more sustained trade relationship between grower and customer is maintained.
With South Africa coming out of a drought situation and the world climate in general becoming very unpredictable, Halls has developed a sustainability strategy with specific targets for the short, medium and long-term.
Our farms are situated in the summer rainfall region of South Africa which provides us with the advantage of using rainfall for irrigation. In the event of drought, we have put several measures in place such as harvesting rainfall into our dams which are fully lined with an HDPE geomembranes, installed low flow drip irrigation systems for our new plantings which use about 50-60% less water than traditional irrigation systems. We also ensure that we continuously remove any alien vegetation plants which use about double the amount of water that indigenous plants would. With sustainability being so critical for the survival of our planet and longevity of the agricultural industry, our plan is for our brand to be fully aligned with the term “sustainability” through our initiatives. We have launched our “every drop of water matters” campaign through video infographics to talk about feasible and practical water sustainability initiatives. We are implementing the WWF water risk analysis tool in order to assess the short and long-term water risks.
In addition to this, we have embarked in biodiversity projects from our insect populations to the foliage that supports them. Our living soils is a part of our farming practices that will gain much more momentum in 2020.
We will also be adapting the use of drone flights which allows for assessment and monitoring of tree health status and upgrading our canal systems which will help in eliminating any current and future leaks and seepage on waterway systems.
Finally, several reuse and recycle initiatives have been implemented within our offices that have been taken up with great enthusiasm from our employees across our group will set a new standard within our business.