“A brand can only be as strong as its ability to consistently deliver on its quality promise,” says Adéle Ackermann, ClemenGold International marketing manager. “For the premium ClemenGold mandarin brand, our ability to do just that is derived from the expansive family of companies that form part of our larger Group, and a legacy of excellence through continuous improvement and best practices.”

Firstfruits, the group’s technical advisory and continuous improvement company works in tandem with Indigo Fruit Farms, integrating technology into its farming and packing operations, setting new benchmarks for quality and efficiency.

The backbone of the group’s agricultural innovation is FarmNode, a precision farming product developed by the company’s software arm, Citrii Software. This technology, implemented under the guidance of Firstfruits, digitises various aspects of farming operations, ushering in a new era of efficiency and sustainability. Areas impacted by this product includes irrigation and fertigation, crop protection and manipulation, as well as packhouse practices for improved efficiency.

Says Jòke van Wyk, Citrii business analyst, “Real-time data analytics provide insights into soil moisture levels, allowing for precise management of water and nutrient usage. This not only maximises resource efficiency but also ensures optimal growing conditions, contributing to better packouts and superior fruit quality.” And superior quality fruit means fruit can match the specifications for inclusion in the ClemenGold mandarin brand with a good return for contributing growers.

Precision farming also extends to crop protection practices, where FarmNode aids farmers in monitoring and controlling pests and diseases with unparalleled accuracy. By employing targeted interventions based on real-time data and expert recommendations, Indigo has been able to minimise the use of pesticides, promoting sustainable farming practices. FarmNode’s capabilities extend to crop manipulation actions, allowing growers to make data-driven decisions regarding pruning and thinning – an approach that enhances fruit quality and increases yields, leading to better packouts.

The group’s commitment to technological excellence extends to its packhouses. “We’re proud of our packhouse teams’ ability to pack the right fruit in the right box at the right time,” says Ackermann. “This enables our commercial and marketing teams to honour supply agreements with a variety of global clients – each with their own expectations.” Automated systems, supported by data, ensure that each fruit meets the highest standards of size, colour, and quality.

The ClemenGold brand has experienced a good year with memorable and culturally relevant marketing campaigns across the globe, and satisfied clients and citrus lovers.

For more information about the ClemenGold brand and the rest of the family of gold brands, visit www.clemengold.com. For information about FarmNode, Firstfruits and Citrii Software, visit www.1stfruits.co.za and www.citrii.com.