New finance institution for fruit farmers

SA fruit marketer Capespan recently announced the launch of Capespan Capital, which will offer fruit farmers long- and short-term financing.

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A joint venture with Capital Harvest and Land Bank, the new venture will focus on producers with export potential. According to Capespan Capital CEO Pikkie Swart, although the financial services offered are similar in many ways to traditional bank financing, there are variations that take into account the specific needs of the agriculture sector.

Various credit and finance risks are related to the export of fruit, and Capespan Capital will be able to provide finance in instances commercial banks deem too risky because they don’t have the same mechanisms to manage those risks.

In addition, Capespan Capital is a small, focussed and agile financier with a flat management structure, quick credit decisions and a personalised touch – all which separate it from commercial banks, said Swart.

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Partner Capital Harvest is a Stellenbosch-based niche agriculture finance company for the primary and secondary agriculture market, and will supply a team of specialists in agriculture finance and agriculture credit management.

Any producer who exports through Capespan will be able to approach Capespan Capital for all their funding needs, said Swart. This includes smallholder farmers.