After an extended hiatus, Seven Seas has resumed shipments of South African citrus to the U.S. under the BIG FIVE brand and has plans to broaden the program next season.
“This is the first time we have received South African citrus in a long time and the fruit has been very well received by our customer base here in the U.S,” says Bill Weyland, Vice President of sales at Seven Seas in New Jersey.
The BIG FIVE name refers to the five most popular species of big game animals that can be found in South Africa and the choice of this brand reflects Seven Seas’ commitment to its roots in South Africa. Seven Seas has also marketed citrus under the BIG FIVE brand in Europe this past season and there are plans to continue to expand it further .
“Seven seas has also partnered with three South African grape growers, and the season there will start in about two months,” says Greg Reinauer, President of Tom Lange Company, the shareholder of Seven Seas.
Seven Seas handles their U.S. imports from offices in New Jersey and Miami. The New Jersey office handles citrus, from South America, South Africa and North Africa, and the Miami office handles mostly asparagus from Peru, Tropical items like mangos and pineapples as well as vegetables like sugar peas and snap peas
“We also still have our Russian office, and it’s doing well,” said Greg. “Business in our Rotterdam office has been effected by the Russian ban on European goods but we have managed to bring back some of that lost volume with direct imports into Europe and we have future plans to build this business.”