South African food company Rhodes Food Group has landed an export deal with Walmart US to supply its stores with an initial order of three canned pear variations. These include premium export quality 425g cans of pear slices in heavy syrup, 425g cans of pear halves in juice and 850g cans of pear slices in heavy syrup.Rhodes Food is the second local supplier on Massmart’s new export programme to get listed with Walmart US. In a statement, Massmart says that with South Africa having some of the world’s best canning fruit varieties, Walmart was impressed with the quality and taste of the pears from Rhodes Food Group.

Massmart’s new export programme stems from discussions that took place at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, between Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel and the President and CEO of Walmart International Judith McKenna. The initiative also represents an extension of the Massmart Supplier Development mandate to include assisting local suppliers to access Walmart’s global markets.

The Walmart Global Sourcing team, supported by the Massmart Supplier Development Programme, initially met with 18 South African suppliers in September 2019. Following these meetings a total of seven suppliers were identified as having export potential to Walmart markets. Supplier products included I&J’s abalone and seafood, AVI’s Fresh Pack rooibos, Vinimark’s wines, Rhodes Foods’ tinned fruit, Distell’s wines, Green Farms’ macadamia nuts and Glenart’s Christmas crackers.

In January 2020, the team visited the seven high potential supplier’s farms to evaluate their end-to-end supply chains. During this visit Glenart, a local manufacturer of innovative confetti-popping crackers was listed to supply 800 Walmart US stores. Rhodes Food Group were listed soon after this trip.

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