In South Africa, the month of September holds special significance as Heritage Month. During this time, the nation comes together to celebrate the mosaic of cultures, traditions and histories that shape our country’s identity, fostering greater understanding, unity and appreciation for the contributions made to society by its various communities.

At Betko, we also celebrate our history dating back to the early 1980s when Japie Groenewald started trading fruit by buying from local farmers and packers and selling across South Africa. Being a highly motivated entrepreneur, he soon developed a vision of what he believed Betko could grow into.

Betko’s first mechanical packing line was installed in 1992, followed by a second in 1994. In 1996, the first refrigeration plant was built and over the years more refrigeration capacity and packing machinery were added to the site that is still being used today.

True momentum was gained from 1997 onwards, following the deregulation of the apple and pear export industry from a government-controlled, one-channel model to being completely unregulated. Exports started to rapidly overtake local business and focused mainly on retail in the United Kingdom and on the European continent, as well as the wholesale sector of West African markets.

As we celebrate Heritage Month, we pay tribute to Betko’s journey – one of entrepreneurship and innovation. Just as South Africa embraces its diverse cultures and traditions, Betko has embraced the spirit of growth and adaptability since its early days. We reflect on our history and the dynamic changes that have shaped us, and remain committed to honouring our roots while looking ahead to the future.

We are determined to build upon the legacy left by Japie, ensuring that Betko continues to thrive and make a positive impact in the ever-evolving world of agriculture and global markets.