Abraham van Rooyen, a brilliant man with a passion that knows no bounds, was responsible for introducing ClemenGold® into South Africa, two decades ago. Today, a brand to be reckoned with.
In the early 1990s during a visit to Morocco, he was first able to enjoy the Moroccan Nadorcott citrus fruit. On returning to South Africa he began experimenting at his nursery in Letsitele in Limpopo and found this an incredible variety, easy to peel and seedless. They taste delicious and sweet with a certain sharpness that lingers almost taking the place of a palate cleanser. To Abs, as he is fondly known, one of the most important qualities of this versatile fruit is the almost perfume-like fragrance. “This takes me back to the farm and back to the orchards, and it is probably where I am my happiest,” he says.
Over time those seedlings became the trees that bear the ClemenGold® name. Although he knew there was a gap in the market for this amazing fruit, success did not come easily. He was asked, “Do you want to brand a naartjie?” But he persisted and now ClemenGold® is shipped off through 80 ports to 60 countries – certainly an international success story.
Abs studied at the University of Pretoria in the early 1980s while there he read a booklet by Dr Arnold Mol on Motivating Your Farm Labour. He explains, “That booklet changed my views on doing business forever. The principles that he spoke about are still applied in the business today. They have to do with expectations, proper feedback, the opportunity to correct and improve and compensating someone in accordance with their performance. It is all about communication and ensuring that people understand each other.“
Today, ANB employs up to 4500 employees, including seasonal workers. Corporate social investment is not just word candy and throughout the Group, employees make a lasting difference in the communities in which the businesses operate.
One of the innovation highlights includes the development of the world’s first legally accepted comic contract for fruit pickers with lawyer Robert de Rooy. The fruit pickers’ ClemenGold Comic Contract covers all elements of an employment contract using comics specially created for this purpose.
The passion for ClemenGold® has also driven the development of innovative and exciting products further into other members of the ‘gold’ family; LemonGold®, HoneyGold® and NavelGold®. Even further, extending to freshly squeezed 100% ClemenGold® juice and special edition ClemenGold® yoghurt and smoothies available at Woolworths. All part of a healthy lifestyle which Abs believes will continue to grow and bear fruit taking this exquisite brand far and wide.
We are delighted to welcome Abs as Founder of a hugely successful company into the family of Showcook and look forward to him speaking at the Awards, which will take place at One&Only Cape Town on Thursday 2nd September.
No doubt the creativity of our future patissiers will be splendidly on show at the Cook-Off on Saturday 21st August! Follow on Instagram #OOYoungStars2021 & Facebook @Showcookcom