About Neofresh

Neofresh was established 20 years ago by Tim and Brian Chennels. Since then the company has undergone a few name changes as well as changes in shareholding. From the outset the core business of the company was the production, value-adding and marketing of Papaya.

In 2011 Neofresh merged with one of its competitors, Low’s Creek, adding 40% to its production area and consolidating retail market share. Before the merger Neofresh hired all its farms but owned the packing facility in Hectorspruit. Its assets were mainly intangible in nature, consisting of Intellectual Property with regards to varieties and trademarks, as well as substantial market share amongst South African retailers. The merger strengthened the balance sheet to enable Neofresh to acquire its flagship farm, Kenworthy Estates. Today Neofresh produces papaya on four farms and litchi on three farms in South Africa. Neofresh has an off-take agreement with a Mozambican company, Carthage Limitada, to exclusively grow and supply papaya under licence.  The annual production between the two companies is 16000 tons.  Today Neofresh is the biggest supplier of Papaya to the Retail market in South Africa.

In March 2014 Neofresh acquired the shares of the non-operational shareholders. This ended a long and very fruitful relationship with Colors Fruit (Pty) Ltd. The Inge & Mia Schmidt Trust became the only shareholder until 2018, when Norfund acquired a 34% shareholding.

Unrestrained Passion

We believe in the importance of sound research and the competitive edge this gives us in the market place. We believe in creating an environment and atmosphere where every team member has the freedom to express his or her views and where our individual and collective dreams can be fulfilled. We share an unrestrained passion for what we do. We believe in a multi-cultural prosperous South Africa where everyone should be given an opportunity regardless of race, culture, language or religion.

Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy

Optimizing yield and quality through scientific production methods.

Ensuring the long-term viability of the business through sustainable farming.

Understanding our social responsibility in a diverse country with huge challenges in terms of poverty and inequality.

Understanding the value of adhering to Internationally accepted standards such as Good Agricultural Practice.

Understanding the importance of people in our business.

Understanding that a properly funded Research and Development Department will give us the competitive edge regarding new exclusive varieties, post-harvest treatment methods and unique growing methods.

Understanding that producing fruit in different areas will give us the advantage of stabilizing production and finding niche marketing windows.

Understanding the value of investing and participating in the complete value chain.

Our Consumers

For Consumers

Through conventional breeding, Neofresh has developed exclusive papaya cultivars which are perfectly suited to South African conditions and taste. A great deal of emphasis has gone into selection and breeding for taste as opposed to only yield and external appearance.

By spreading our production units around different areas we are supplying papaya to South African consumers on a twelve-month basis.

By combining cultivar development and different production areas Neofresh is striving towards a five-month litchi season. This means that more and more South Africans will be able to enjoy this ultimate of subtropical fruit from October to March!

Slowly but surely Neofresh is introducing phenomenal new varieties to the South African market.

Food Safety

Neofresh residue samples are analysed by a SANAS accredited laboratory Hearshaw & Kinnes in Cape Town. They monitor the presence of active ingredients and associated detection levels.

Social Responsibility

Neofresh runs The Neofresh Training Academy at Hectorspruit for the upliftment of its employees. It offers ABET which is an Adult Basic Education and Training course in reading and writing skills. This course is voluntary and is conducted during working hours. The academy also focuses on in-house induction and training, health and hygiene training and specialized courses to improve employees’ skills in the Neofresh workplace. Furthermore, it arranges AIDS counselling and basic clinic visits for all employees.

Neofresh is proud of the Mentorship Programs that have reaped inspirational rewards over the years. This consists of the identification of raw ability and the careful nurturing thereof through the gradual adding of responsibility. Some of our Farm Managers started as General Workers some years ago.

Neofresh runs an “Understudy Program” to give employees exposure to fields beyond their daily responsibilities. This has been instrumental in career growth and development.

Neofresh is part of SEDEX and SIZA.

We believe in South Africa and its people. We understand the important role that Agriculture plays in rural development and the positive impact it has on workers and their extended families. It is a challenge and responsibility we take very seriously and accept humbly.