BESTER FRUIT & NUTS
Bester Fruit & Nuts (BFN) became the fruit and nut export division of the BexGroup in 2015. Since 1998, the group’s exports were done through BFN, previously known as Bexport (Pty) Ltd. Mainly popcorn maize and groundnuts were exported to Denmark and Belgium. The merge with Hinterland Processing Plant opened the door for BFN to enter the pecan nut industry, instantly becoming a strong role player in the pecan export market.
Sourcing, processing and exporting are the three main functions of BFN. These functions are incorporated into a trade solution that is continuously improved to strengthen the link between farmers’ produce and the international consumer market.
South Africa is one of the biggest producers of pecan nuts. These nuts are mainly produced in the Vaalharts area of the Northern Cape. This area is ideal for harvesting the best quality nuts in the world due to specific climate conditions. The semidesert area’s cold winters and hot summers contribute to successful fruit growth. Pecan trees thrive in well-drained deep soil, which makes the area near the Vaal and Harts River the perfect location. Some of the popular cultivars are Wichita, Choctaw and Ukulinga. BFN have relationships with a broad spectrum of pecan growers, making it possible to source the best quality nuts for the international market.
Vaalharts Processing Plant
The Vaalharts Processing Plant is situated in the Vaalharts area, where more than half of South African pecan nuts are grown. The main functions of the Vaalharts Processing Plant are sizing, grading and cracking pecan nuts. Nuts acceptable for in-shell exports are cleaned and sized accordingly, whereas pecan nut halves and pieces go through a more rigorous process of cracking and grading. After representative nut samples are drawn, they are analysed according to physical, microbiological and chemical specifications. Each shipment receives a detailed analysis sheet with pecan nut specifications to ensure conformity.
BFN manage the whole supply chain to ensure customers across the globe receive their produce in the most effective and timely manner. A foundation of trust is established before transactions are made to bridge any uncertainties and to build a long-term relationship. Successfully executing the export function is top priority to guarantee competitiveness across borders.
Our sourcing, processing and exporting functions strengthen our trade solution. In return, our trade solution enables us to excel in bringing the best South African pecan nuts to the rest of the world.
At Bester Fruit & Nuts we sell pecan nuts in three forms, 1) nuts in-shell, 2) halves and 3) pieces.
Nuts in-shell are also called farmers stock. The nuts are cleaned, graded and sized according to nut count per kg. Nuts can be mixed across cultivars so that the best count per kg are reached. The grading and sizing of the pecan nuts are based on United States standards for grades.
|IN-SHELL SIZE SPECIFICATION|
|In-shell size||Count per kg||Meat yield||Cultivar in-shell|
|OS||100-120||55% and higher||Choctaw|
|XL||121-140||55% and higher||Wichita|
|L||141-170||55% and higher||Ukulinga|
|M||171-210||55% and higher||Mix|
|S||211 and more||55% and higher||Mix|
Pecan halves are mainly used in the snack and baking market. After in-shell nuts are shelled in our processing facility, it is graded, sized and vacuum packed in 15kg bags.
|HALF SIZE SPECIFICATION|
|Shelled Halves||Count per kg|
|Mammoth Halves||550 and less|
|Jnr Mammoth Halves||551-660|
|Extra Large Halves||771-990|
Pecan pieces are used in the baking and confectionery market. The pieces are categorised according to size and then vacuum packed. The pecan halves and pieces are packed in carton boxes ready for exports.
|PIECES SIZE SPECIFICATION|
|P1||Thru 14.3mm over 12.7mm|
|P2||Thru 12.7mm over 9.5mm|
|P3||Thru 7.9mm over 6.4mm|
|P4||Thru 6.4mm over 4.8mm|
|P5||Thru 4.8mm over 3.2mm|