Ruvalabs is a plant biotechnology agricultural company situated in the Western Cape, South Africa, which has established a reputation as a top supplier of quality hardened tissue culture fruit rootstock and blueberry plants for the South African fruit industry.
Rijk Danckwerts, the founder and Managing Director of Ruvalabs, is very happy to announce that Ruvalabs has completed a new strategic equity restructure with participation by some of the leading international players in Southern Africa’s agricultural industry. “Our objective was to secure the best partners, correct resources and management to invest in topmost infrastructure and production methods to enable an even greater selection of disease-free tissue culture young plant availability as a viable solution for the Southern African agricultural sector.”
As a result of the equity restructure, Ruvalabs will be renamed to ‘Vitroplant South Africa’ effectively from the 1st of September 2019. Rijk Danckwerts will remain Managing Director of the company with a strong shareholding in the business and the new shareholders will include big names in the agricultural sector such as Vitroplant Italia srl Società Agricola, the ZZ2 group and Hishtil SA.
Vitroplant Italia is celebrating 40 years as one of Europe’s leading producers for tissue culture plants and finished trees throughout Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Its investment in South Africa’s agricultural sector now provides a resolution to a very big local demand for quality young plants.
ZZ2, one of South Africa’s largest farming enterprises, is considered the leader in tomato production in South Africa and has played a significant role in the development of the South African fruit and vegetable market. They are also well-known reputable producers of avocados, pome and stone fruit, onions, almonds, cherries, dates and blueberries.
ZZ2 has existing involvement in fruit production in the Western and Eastern Cape and vast experience in nursery management as it owns and operates the biggest avocado nursery in South Africa. ZZ2 is also in partnership with the international vegetable and ornamental nursery group, Hishtil.
Hishtil, established in Israel, maintains a world-wide footprint and reputation for quality seedling nursery production, and brings international nursery experience and know-how to the business.
Vitroplant SA is authorized by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ‘DAFF’ as a Post Entry Quarantine Facility for plant imports (Pest Control Act No 36 of 1983 and International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures), this authorization facilitates mass imports of in vitro plant material.
DAFF has approved Centro Attivivita Vivaistiche (CAV), Italy as a recognized diagnostic testing facility with the continued support from the Central Italian Phytosanitary Service, Italian Ministry of Agria.rltr.rre. and this authorizes Vitroplant Italia as a supplier of Malus and Prunus plant tissue culture material for mass in vitro imports to Vitroplant SA from Italy.
DAFF has facilitated mass imports of US sourced blueberry varieties through Ruvalabs/Vitroplant SA quarantine, providing a plant production platform for Topfruit’s exciting new range of low and high chill blueberry varieties to the ever-expanding South- and Central African blueberry industry.
The Independent Certification Council for Seed Potatoes approved Vitroplant SA as a multi crop maintenance and propagation facility for in vitro plantlets in terms of the South African Potato Certification Scheme.
Vitroplant SA aims to produce a range of tree nuts, grapes, potatoes, pomegranates, ornamental and medicinal plants as the company has the facilities with the capacity and infrastructure to propagate quality plant tissue culture material in large commercial quantities with access to a broad range of international experience and technologies including popular and new genetics.
With the increasing challenges, inputs and overhead costs required in South Africa’s new orchards and perennial export crops, the importance of high-quality, strong and disease free plant material is essential for the viability of these crops and critical for a quicker return on investment…Vitroplant SA will close this gap to provide a reliable solution to these challenges.
In a joint statement, Gerardo Grill ( Vitroplant Italia) and Tommie Van Zyl (ZZ2) said that they are very excited about the opportunities ahead within a vertically integrated ecosystem, and that the efficient integration of quality infrastructure and technology, combined with human international knowledge, experience and expertise will be a huge asset for South African agriculture.