AGT Foods Africa was not looking to expand their product range, but when the opportunity to buy Pannar’s dry bean seed business came along, they realised that this would be a perfect addition to their variety of offerings.
Although news of the possible sale surfaced in November 2023 already, on 1 February 2024 it was made official. Brian Lever, Managing Director of AGT Foods Africa explains they were approached in March 2023. “We decided to make a bid, we met and had discussions, then made the final offer and bought it.”
The acquisition of the dry bean seed business fits in perfectly with their current business model. Their facilities are already big enough for them to incorporate the beans into the existing structure and production schedule. After harvesting their early popcorn, farmers who would have planted beans for Pannar, can now plant for AGT Foods Africa.
In 2012 AGT Foods and Ingredients Inc, Canada bought Advanced Seed Company, which was started in 1964, and changed the name to AGT Foods Africa in 2016, to fit in with the worldwide group. They have facilities in Chamdor Krugersdorp, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, and Durban Port and export their products worldwide.
Their mission is to supply the best quality products at reasonable prices worldwide.
AGT Foods Africa buys, processes, packages and supplies pulses, staple foods, and food ingredients. In South Africa, AGT Foods Africa provides maize, rice and pasta, pulses, and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas, and canary seed, as well as food ingredients such as pulse flours, proteins, starches, and fibres which are sold to wholesalers, retail stores, and through AGT Foods Africa’s online store. They can now add beans and dry beans to the mix.
“We understand the seed business, we know what we are doing, we have the production capabilities, we have the processing capabilities, and we have the marketing capability,” said Brian.
At the end of November 2023, the South African Competition Commission gave the go ahead for the sale to proceed. But it came with stipulations: AGT Foods Africa must supply a certain number of units of bean seed directly to the department of Agriculture at a discounted price. They will also have to provide aid, such as agronomy services, to a certain number of subsistence famers for a period of three years.
This arrangement means the government can now buy bean seed directly from the main supplier.
Brian says they were not looking to expand and are not planning to expand soon; but this will depend on what comes their way.
“We did not have beans in our stable, and we were looking at growing our seed business. We sell seed all over Africa and now we can provide bean seeds to Africa as well,” Brian says.
Clients can look forward to a fully stocked bean cupboard as AGT Foods Africa has hit the ground running with small white bean seeds for canning and sugar beans. They already have contracts in place and have started planting for the 2024 season. The Pannar bean seeds business also had a breeder contracted to them, who will now continue with AGT Foods Africa on a contractual basis.
The company has a business unit that markets commercial beans and AGT Foods Africa will now be supplying commercial beans and dry bean seeds to the market.
For all your seed and now bean needs visit AGT Foods Africa’s website www.agtfoods.co.za.