South Africa US company invests in nut market

A South African peanut business has sold 80% of its assets and a 50% equity share in its pecan business to Golden Peanut Co, a subsidiary of Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Co.The 80% of assets involves P-Farm Agente, a peanut processor founded in 1997 which was previously owned by Alfonso Visser. Visser will hold the balance of 20%. P-Farm Agente, of Hartswater, South Africa, includes a bulk warehouse and a shelling plant capable of processing 20,000t of peanuts per year.
Visser says: “Golden Peanut’s investment in the South African groundnut industry will bring new technology and new seed varieties, which will be valuable for South African farmers and for the groundnut industry as a whole.”
Visser says the technology will increase capacity over a five-year term, with yield dependent on plantings and weather. Seed cultivars from the US, Argentina and Nicaragua that would become available should fare better than the locally-grown Spanish Runner, which is grown for production of peanut butter and peanut snacks.
The peanut business will henceforth operate under the name Golden Peanut and Tree Nut SA. The 50% ownership stake involves South African Pecans, a pecan processor and marketer that will operate under the name GPC Pecan SA. Visser will retain the balance of 50%.
Says Kris Lutt, president of Golden Peanut Co: “Our entry into the South African peanut market augments Golden Peanut’s presence in the United States and Argentina, enabling us to serve more customers from more points of origin. The regional origination and export capacity provided by P-Farm’s operations will help Golden Peanut advance toward its goal of becoming a global groundnut sheller and handler.”