SOUTH AFRICA – GrubMarket, a California-based food tech company, has announced the acquisition of Global Produce, a fresh produce supplier based in Cape Town, South Africa.

This purchase will help GrubMarket expand its fresh produce operations in South Africa and broaden its international reach.

Global Produce, founded by Rutger van Wulfen in 2013, supplies fresh produce from South Africa and other global sources to 44 countries worldwide.

The company primarily focuses on grapes and citrus but also offers a wide variety of other fruits such as apples, pears, berries, cherries, and plums, as well as exotic items like Malaysian dragon fruit and Namibian Barhi dates.

Global Produce operates offices in Cape Town, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Ho Chi Minh City. Its supply base extends across South Africa, Namibia, Morocco, Egypt, New Zealand, and Australia, among other countries.

In its statement, GrubMarket noted that the addition of Global Produce supports the company’s “vertical integration initiative,” which aims to connect farmers in Africa directly with international markets.

By packing fruit under its Geo brand, Global Produce works to streamline the supply chain, reducing intermediaries and helping farmers navigate the challenges of rising input and distribution costs.

Van Wulfen will continue to lead Global Produce after the acquisition, working alongside the company’s leadership team based in key locations around the world.

Collaborative approach

Van Wulfen emphasized the importance of relationships in the food industry, stating, “Our foundation is built on trust, loyalty, and service. We take pride in providing the highest quality South African fruits to our customers worldwide.”

He added that the company’s integrated approach allows it to maximize profits for farmers while delivering fresh produce to customers at lower prices and higher volumes.

“I’ve been following GrubMarket’s story for many years and am incredibly excited to join this successful, globally oriented company that approaches the food supply chain with a similar philosophy and work ethic,” van Wulfen continued.

Mike Xu, CEO of GrubMarket, highlighted van Wulfen’s extensive international experience and cultural background as key to Global Produce’s success in reaching customers across Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Integration with technology

GrubMarket plans to integrate Global Produce with its advanced technology platforms, including the AI-powered WholesaleWare software suite.

This software provides financial management, sales support, online ordering, inventory management, grower accounting, and automated shipping and logistics to food wholesalers and distributors.

The acquisition also brings GrubAssist, GrubMarket’s AI assistant, and Orders IO, its custom-branded mobile e-commerce solution, into the mix.

With this acquisition, GrubMarket looks to strengthen its global position in the food supply chain, enhancing its connections with farmers and growers throughout South Africa and expanding its reach to new markets.

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