PRODUCTION SUPPORT SERVICES
TECHNICAL EXTENSION SERVICE
Exsa offers a comprehensive technical production extension service to all the Exsa growers. The team provide advice and training on all production issues, from pruning right through the growth cycle until the grapes are harvested. This includes planting methods as well as the crop preparation for various grape varieties. The service also evaluates the growth of the vineyards and makes recommendations on fertigation.
The service is available to all the Exsa growers throughout and despite the vast distances between production areas, the technical manager visits each of the growers on their farms as growers request assistance. During the harvest season the technical service includes quality control in packhouses during the packing process. This also entails managing the packing programmes for various markets as well as deciding on the market destinations for the crops from selected vineyard blocks.
IMPROVED PRODUCTION PRACTICES
Observing production practices in other table grape production regions also makes it possible for us to remain up to date on best practice production techniques which we then share locally with our growers.
EXSA PACKING MATERIAL SERVICES
Packing material is a very important component of successful grape exports as a good quality product is required to transport and protect the fruit from the grower to the consumer. It also represents a significant percentage of the production input costs. Exsa has established and provides a comprehensive packing material service to the Exsa growers. This includes establishing the quantity of each type of packaging is required by the individual growers, ordering it on their behalf and co-ordinating the delivery of the cartons. The collective bargaining function makes it possible for Exsa Packing financial administration to order in bulk for bulk prices, providing a cost advantage to smaller growers.
PACKING PROGRAMME PLANNING
Exsa’s technical services team assists growers with the establishment and ongoing management of packing programmes. This hands-on function during the harvesting season is fundamental to our success. Exsa has a highly experienced and knowledgeable technical team who take care of this day-to-day management function with our growers. We believe that getting the basics of quality right on the farm and in the pack house and complying to the right accreditations assists our growers to optimise their returns from any particular market.
QUALITY CONTROL SERVICE
Exsa provides a full in-house quality control service in the pack houses of Exsa growers. This service is an integrated part of the service that Exsa provides for their growers during the current harvest, ensuring premium quality for our receivers and consumers. This dedicated in-house “QC” team thoroughly checks the grapes in the pack houses during the packing process. They also provide a real-time mobile tablet based electronic QC assessment of the fruit for growers and Exsa’s logistics and sales team.
THE GLOBAL QUEST FOR NEW VARIETIES
Identifying and acquiring the successful new varieties that have the potential to grow and produce well in South African conditions has aways been a fundamental mission for Exsa. Since Exsa was established in 1997, we have been travelling to table grape production regions across the globe. This has been to find out which new varieties can be successful for Exsa. The results of this ongoing quest have provided Exsa with access to popular varieties and secured our company an advantage in our global markets.
PRESENTING AND ATTENDING INTERNATIONAL GRAPE TASTINGS
The taste experience and quality of our fruit are our consumers’ most important considerations. We strive to ensure that we can provide them with grapes that have the optimum flavour and quality. As a result, our visits to production regions often include grape tastings to assist with the identification of possible suitable varieties. We also go to a great deal of trouble to present tastings of our varieties to our buyers, both when they visit us in South Africa and when we visit our receivers in their home countries.
PRODUCER MARKET VISITS
We believe that it is important for our growers to experience their markets first-hand. This allows us to show them the systems that are in place in the market and what the quality requirements are within the marketplace. To this end, we lead market visits for groups of growers to see their grapes in the market and to hear the feedback directly from the receivers.