BioFach 2019 - Organic is Thriving

BY Lize Garrod

Biofach (world's leading trade fair for organic food) and Vivaness (international trade fair for natural cosmetics) attracted 3,273 exhibitors to Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 13-16 February 2019. This year showcased exhibitors from the largest number of countries ever, namely 98, with 51,500 trade visitors from 143 countries. Albeit my 6th visit to this incredible Trade Fair, it never gets old and the atmosphere is always gigantic. You can feel the enthusiasm for the sector from the very first moment - a great energy.

Besides using this Trade Fair as an opportunity to meet with our International buyers, it's an incredible event to explore and view new and exciting products in Organic. BIOFACH trends this year included: vegetarian/vegan, protein products, convenience and zero-waste products.
Vegetarian and vegan products continue to be a significant trend that is also reflected at the BIOFACH Novelty Stand. Alongside traditional vegan ingredients like soy, products based on cashews, almonds or peas are also proving popular with consumers. Protein-containing foodstuffs are also very popular, whether they come in the form of oils, bars, spreads or shakes. BIO Shots were a first this year – from Organic Ginger, Carrot, Turmeric to Coffee, in small 60ml PET and glass bottles.
Another sustained trend is for uncomplicated meals that are quickly prepared. Convenience products are now an integral part of the range offered by the organic segment. This notwithstanding, more and more consumers are also focusing on “external values”, i.e. the product packaging. Innovative packaging, just like the “unpackaged” concepts under the category “zero-waste”, is a significant issue in the sector and one that experts believe will continue to gain in importance.
There’s a good outlook for the international organic food industry – both in Europe and worldwide. It was very encouraging to see that SOGA Organic products are well on trend and in some cases ‘ahead of its time’. The fact that our products have NOTHING added – only pure Certified Organic NFC Juice – makes is even more unique, as many of the frozen juice products we saw had additional products added. It’s encouraging to know that we are on the right track. Our biggest challenge is to eliminate single use plastic in our packaging and we are determined to make this happen.

We are looking forward to yet another exciting Citrus season.

 March 01, 2019
Comments (0)
Lize Garrod

Award winning product from the Sundays River Valley

BY Lize Garrod

SOGA Organic is a small niche company located in the heart of the Sundays River Valley that grow, produce and package the first and only Certified Organic citrus juice products in South Africa.

Besides supplying the International wholesale market it was our vision to one day supply the local retail market with South Africa's first certified organic citrus juice products - a unique and healthy alternative to all the sugar-loaded juices in the market today. This vision became a reality in December 2015 with the launch of our first two retail products at a handful of selected Food Lover's Market Stores.

As a small dynamic enterprise always looking for new and innovative products to launch, it was no surprise to launch our third product - Frozen Lemon Juice - just a year later and our fourth product launching this year.

We entered our Frozen Lemon Juice Product in the 2018 Food Review/Symrise New Product Competition (NPC). The aim of the competition is to give local and International brands, supplied on the South AFrican market, the opportunity to showcase their innovative new products. SOGA Organic was very honoured to walk away with three awards - Winner Packaging, Second Runner up in Individual Category and Second Runner up overall in New Product Competition - at the Awards Evening held in Cape Town on 13 September 2018. 

Launching the first Certified Organic Citrus Juice products in South Africa came with lots of challenges in terms of packaging, labelling and distribution, but yet again... our passion for healthy living and keeping our products as real and authentic as possible saw us through launching a product that is local, certified organic and with NOTHING ADDED. A single ingredient product with no preservatives, additives or sugar added. Packaging that can withstand very low temperatures are often challenging, but we sourced the best we could and are always looking for new and improved packaging to improve our products and be gentler on the environment. 

 October 31, 2018
Comments (0)
Lize Garrod

Retail Packaging Statement

BY Lize Garrod

SOGA ORGANIC is the only certified organic citrus processor in South Africa. We only process fruit from the four SOGA Growers to ensure the best quality and integrity for all our products. All 4 growers farm in South Africa along the fertile Sundays River Valley, near the Addo Elephant National Park.
One of our core values that made us farm organically, is our drive to produce fruit on a sustainable basis. We are developing a farming system that is robust, and where the quality of our soils improves every year. We are acutely aware of the need to farm in harmony with nature, and to always put back into our environment more than what we take out.
Quality and food safety is very important at SOGA ORGANIC. Our concern is not only the supervision of fresh produce orchards, but also strict production processes to ensure the most fresh and high quality products at the best price.
o          HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points)
o          PPECB (Perishable Products Export Control Board)
o          Certified Organic by Control Union
Our Food safety system is Dutch HACCP and for our last audit in October 2016 we received zero non-conformity findings. We are also in the process of obtaining our BRC (British Retail Consortium) accreditation.
In the development of our retail product range, we were acutely aware of the impact on the environment.  However, finding any alternative to plastic was impossible. Being frozen citrus juice products, we had no option but to make some compromises. Metal and glass bottles were both problematic when it came to freezing, and freezing our product is critical in our process as it obviates the need to add any preservatives.  HDPE, LDPE and PP are all opaque, and we needed a clear bottle. We were left with only one option, Polyethylene terephthalate or PET as it’s commonly known.
Biological, biochemical and chemical reactivity are dramatically influenced by temperature, and whereas there might be low amounts of leaching at high temperatures, this would be negligible at -18° Celsius, the temperature at which our products are stored & distributed
Many beverages, food items and other consumer products are delivered in bottles or packages made from PET. The #1 code is usually found on or near the bottom of the container. Manufacturers like it because it is safe, strong, transparent and versatile. Customers choose it for its safety, light weight, resealability, shatter-resistance and recyclability. Up to 100% of a PET package can be made from recycled PET, and the material can be recycled again and again. It is used to make new bottles, but recycled PET can also be made into fiber for carpets; fabric for t-shirts or fleece jackets; fiberfill for sleeping bags, winter coats, and dog beds; industrial strapping; sheet and thermoformed (clam shell) packaging; and automotive parts such as headliners, bumpers, and door panels. We urge all our customers who buy our 250ml Certified Organic Frozen Orange Juice PET Bottle to PLEASE RE-USE and RECYCLE.
Finding suitable packaging and a filling machine for our 2nd product, the SOGA Rocket (100ml Certified Organic Frozen orange ice) turned out to be quite a challenge. After months of searching for a local supplier of Tetrapak or cardboard squeeze tubes/squeezers, we eventually had to turn to Europe. Innova Supply & Services GMBH in Germany is a leader in product ideas, packaging, marketing and distribution, HACCP and ISO 9000 as well as BRC certifications aren’t just slogans, they are basic prerequisites! The company’s thinking and behavior is determined by continuity, independence and sustainable growth and they accommodate small companies like SOGA Organic. The material used is Food grade approved cupforma classic board coated outside and inside (DPE) with polyethylene. The squeeze tubes are 100% recyclable.
December 2016 saw the launch of our 3rd retail product, Certified organic frozen lemon juice. It was a first in South Africa and the world…. A convenient “ice-cube size” cube or sachet of certified organic lemon juice to spruce up your salad, sauces or pop into your hot water or tea in the morning. We attended several packaging expo’s, did months of research and testing to try and find innovative and green packaging alternatives to produce this unique little wonder… Recyclable trays turned out “impossible” to use for liquids, so again we were forced to turn to plastic.  The product is packaged in 10ml Form fill and seal sachets and sold 24 x 10ml units in a Velcro seal pouch. The re-sealable pouch is re-usable and recyclable.
All three SOGA ORGANIC retail products only have ONE INGREDIENT –  The product is the ingredient and the ingredient is the product. Certified Organic citrus juice – Just squeezed & freezed™

  • No pesticide residues
  • No preservatives
  • No additives
  • No colouring or flavouring
  • No sugar added
  • No water added
  • Not-from-concentrate (NFC)

Unfortunately, the development of 100 % recyclable and food safe containers, from sustainable sources, that could withstand very low temperatures has not happened yet, but we are always looking for new and improved packaging to improve our products and be gentler on the environment.
Yours sincerely

 September 13, 2017
Comments (5)
Lize Garrod

BioFach 2015 -  More exhibitors, more visitors and a fantastic atmosphere

BY Lize Garrod

Over 44,000 trade visitors from 136 countries travelled to this year's annual get-together for the organic industry in Nuremberg. With an increase of 5% in visitor numbers, BIOFACH, the World's leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care, once again confirmed that Nuremberg is THE meeting place for the organic world.


Venturing through the 2,348 exhibitor stands is an eye-opening experience. Not only is it evident how alive and well organic living is in Europe, but it is exciting to see all the new and innovative products that are available each year. For European consumers, organic living has become a way of life,  and therefor the pressure on producers and processors to deliver pesticide and chemical free products is continuosly increasing.


Although South Africa is still leaps and bounds behind Europe in terms of consumer behaviour, it is refreshing to see "the shift" to a healthier lifestyle. Local consumers are a lot more informed and conscious of what they are eating and drinking and are looking for healthy alternatives.


As a certified organic juice porcessor, SOGA Organic is proud to offer a healthy alternative to all the "refined sugar and preservative-loaded fruit juices" out there in the market. Although we currently only wholesale our products to International markets, we are in the process of developing new and exciting products for the local retail market to launch 2016. So watch this space!

 March 12, 2015
Comments (2)
Lize Garrod

Internship at SOGA Organic

BY Laura Betrand

Article by Laura Betrand


Je suis étudiante française à l’ISTOM. Mon école d’ingénieur en agro-développement international apporte une formation pluridisciplinaire en 5 ans basée sur l’aspect technologique des industries agro-alimentaires, sur les sciences appliquées en agronomie et en agriculture et sur la gestion des entreprises et des organisations.


Avant la 4ème année que j’entame en Octobre 2013, j’ai effectué un stage de trois mois à SOGA Organic Citrus dans un but d’orientation vers le domaine de l’agroalimentaire tropicale. J’ai choisi l’entreprise SOGA pour sa démarche éthique et respectueuse de l’environnement. J’ai ainsi pu mettre en pratique l’enseignement théorique que j’ai reçu jusqu’à présent en y réalisant des missions très intéressantes. J’ai étudié le potentiel de développement de l’entreprise via les investissements de congélateurs et d’une usine d’embouteillage. J’ai réalisé des expériences concernant l’arôme des peaux séchées. A l’aide des ouvriers, j’ai déterminé le pourcentage des différentes tailles de peaux séchées obtenues à l’issu des procédés de transformation. Je remercie le personnel de SOGA de sa convivialité, m’ayant permis de réaliser mes missions dans de bonnes conditions.


Ce fut une expérience très enrichissante tant sur le plan humain que professionnel. Je remercie toutes les personnes que j’ai rencontrées pendant mon séjour qui m’ont prouvée que la barrière de la langue peut être dépassée. Touchée par la riche biodiversité de l’Afrique Du Sud et par l’accueil de ses habitants aux cultures variées, je garderai merveilleux souvenir de mon séjour.






I am a student at the Graduate School of Agricultural Development International (ISTOM) in France. My engineering school specializes in International agro-development, providing a multidisciplinary degree over 5 years which include technology agri-business, agronomy applied sciences, business management and organizations.


Before the start of my fourth year in October 2013, I completed a three month internship at SOGA Organic in South Africa, from July to end of September 2013. Besides my interest being in tropical food processing, I chose SOGA Organic for its ethical and respectful approach to the environment. I was able to put into practice the theory I’ve learned thus far and apply it to some very interesting projects. My first project focussed on optimizing the peel drying process at SOGA Organic. I conducted experiments on the chipped dried peel including quality, colour & aroma comparisons between hand-peeled dried peel and SOGA Organic’s dried citrus peel. With the help of all the staff, I determined the percentage loss during dried peel processing (chipping & sorting process) and ways to dry higher volumes of wet peel given the current infrastructure. Secondly, I studied the development potential of the company through their investment in additional freezing space and a potential bottling plant.


Thank you to all the staff at SOGA Organic for your friendliness and helpfulness to help me achieve my goals and make my internship so fulfilling.


It was a very rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. I thank all the people I met during my stay which have proven to me that the language barrier can be overcome. Affected by the rich biodiversity of South Africa and the hospitality of its inhabitants from various cultures, I will treasure all the wonderful memories of my visit.


 October 07, 2013
Comments (0)
Laura Betrand

BioFach 2013 - an organic extravaganza!

BY Lize Garrod

From 13 - 16 February 2013 it was the annual BioFach International Organic Trade Fair in Nuremburg, Germany where 2,396 exhibitors (from 86 countries) presented their products to 41,500 trade visitors from 130 countries. SOGA Organic was there to witness the world's biggest exhibition for organic products and THE get-together for customers, suppliers, all partners and potential new customers.


Organic products on display ranged from fresh & frozen food, beverages, household products (even bio-degradable clingwrap!), sweets, cosmetics, clothing and many more.


As an organic NFC Juice processor and wholesaler it was very encouraging to note that organic produce is very much alive & well in Europe.


It's noteworthy to mention that 99% of the fruit juice exhibitors at BioFach produce and bottle only Not-From-Concentrate (NFC) juice. Until recently organic juice was predominantly made by reconstituted organic concentrate, but the trend in Europe is definitely shifting towards pure single strenght NFC. From our discussions with these exhibitors the main reason for the shift in trend is that NFC does not compromise the quality and integrity of the product - it is pure organic juice! After tasting all the various juices at the fair, the products made from concentrate were far inferior to the NFC juice and didn't even taste like real juice. Just another affirmation that NFC is definitely the way to go.


It was a real honour and privilege to attend this exceptional event and I've returned enlightened, inspired and very positive about the future of organics.


We look forward to an exciting season ahead!


Lize Garrod

Marketing Manager


One of the SOGA Growers, Paul Marais, had the following comments.


"It's been my third visit to BioFach the past five years and I'm still amazed how the organic awareness in Europe continues to grow in quantum leaps. Evidence of this growing trend is that there was nothing I could think of that I needed that was not available at BioFach. Everything from organic meat, fish, cheese, wine, juice all the way down to organic sweets for kids.


At the same time it is very concerning to to realize just how far behind South Africa is in our thinking and attitude towards embracing organic agriculture. However, at the same time this creates opportunity for those South African entrepeneurs who dare to venture into organics."

 February 21, 2013
Comments (0)
Lize Garrod

Detection of DDAC on organic fruits and vegetables

BY Lize Garrod

All SOGA fruit test negative for DDAC

We have recently been informed that a German receiver had to block an arrival of South African organic oranges after testing positive for DDAC. In particular, the contaminated fruit originated from an organic grower in the Sundays River Valley, South Africa. SOGA Organic is located in the Sundays River Valley and therefore we need to clarify our position.


The purpose of this letter is to give you peace of mind that at SOGA Organic we only process organic fruit originating from our five SOGA Growers. Since the first noise regarding the potential risk of DDAC contaminated fruit surfaced, all our fruit have been tested for this residue and found negative for any DDAC and other pesticides/insecticides.


The tests were conducted by one of our fresh fruit receivers in Europe, Organic Trading Company (OTC) at Labaratorium Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.


We trust that we have addressed any potential concerns adequately and should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.


Yours sincerely



Lize Garrod

Marketing Manager

 July 11, 2012
Comments (0)
Lize Garrod

Organic Farm Accommodation available

BY Keith Finnemore

Caring for nature while caring for you.

Are you visiting the Addo Elephant National Park, or Schotia Safaris in the Eastern Cape, South Africa?  Keith and Nondumiso welcome you to stay in our thatched cottages on our organic citrus farm, just 10 minutes from the Addo Elephant National Park, and 45 minutes from the Port Elizabeth airport. The Addo area is malaria free.

Breathtaking panoramic views, major tourist locations, unique African style organic meals and our organic farm are only a few of the delights that await you.


The Greater Addo area is a wonderful place to spend a holiday - this is where 3 industries come together - conservation, tourism and farming, meaning that your stay can be filled with many diverse, rewarding and educational experiences. 


The Rosedale experience...

Peaceful and safe eco friendly accommodation on a secure certified organic citrus farm. Pesticide free environment.

Our thatched cottages offer a comfortable place to rest after a hard days' game viewing. Wake up to the sound of birds in the indigenous garden. We maximise use of renewable energy resources in the accommodation units.


more information...

 March 19, 2012
Comments (0)
Keith Finnemore

Breaking news

  • The world's only organic seedless lemons are available from us.


  • We have started using biodiesel on our farms to reduce our carbon footprint. 


  • One of the SOGA Farmers has recently planted Tunisian Maltaise, a very unique cultivar. 


SOGA Organic on Bay FM - Segment 1

SOGA Organic on Bay FM - Segment 2

SOGA Farmer on South African News

Video clip courtesy of SABC News

OK / Close