Jupiter Group – Fruitful Relationships

Jupiter Group is bringing transparency to the food supply chain.

Jupiter Group is an award-winning fruit grower and exporter with a simple vision- to be the most transparent company in fresh produce.

“We have a year-round supply of fresh produce and pride ourselves on new variety development,” says Mark Tweddle, Founder and Joint MD of Jupiter Group. “Our expertise covers table grapes, citrus including lemons, oranges, grapefruit and easy peelers as well as avocado, pineapple and kiwi.”

What makes Jupiter Group different is its constant process of striving to innovate, finding new ways to share data within the company and with its customers.

“We are digitizing our supply chain and control a true seed to shelf process. We are leading the way with a world-leading traceability system that will offer full transparency to customers and consumers alike,” Tweddle explains.

A Transparent Vision

This traceability system is more than just an add-on, it is core to Jupiter Group’s very identity as a company.

“We uphold our transparency vision through our two pillars of ‘Growing together’ and ‘Trust together’,” Tweddle says. “Our ‘Growing Together’ initiative is a supply-chain programme that supports the sustainable development of independent marginal farmers globally and ‘Trust Together’ is supported by providing a culture of trust, backed by a transparent supply-chain for customers and consumers.”

Indeed, as invested as Jupiter Group is in cultivating good quality produce, it is equally invested in cultivating strong relationships up and down the supply chain.

“The relationships that we cultivate with our Growing Together partners ensure that we can continue to supply fresh produce 52-weeks of the year as our partnerships complement our own farming portfolio,” Tweddle tells us. “With our structured, audited and standardised way of farming, we can ensure that our partner growers meet the high standard expected from Jupiter fruit. Our in-house technical team support and advise partner growers to reach the highest audit requirements set by international markets and our global customer base.”

As part of this transparency vision, Jupiter Group’s purpose-built supply chain systems are in place to ensure easy and accurate access and transference of data.

“This is crucial to the supply of great quality fresh produce and adds value to the relationships we have with our growers globally,” says Tweddle. “Our specialist logistics partnerships allow us to find solutions to in-country challenges throughout the supply chain, from the farm right through to loading at port. These connections allow us to cultivate strong and meaningful relationships that are beneficial to all parties.”

With Jupiter Group’s own volume alongside its partner volume, the firm has been able to negotiate favourable rates on essential farming and packing materials to counteract the rapidly rising costs that the market is experiencing.

“Talking of relationships in the human form, our communication tools are all digital via video and accessible through mobile,” Tweddle points out. “Our connectivity with our growers means the world seems a much smaller place and farm location simply doesn’t create a hurdle.”

Bearing Fruit

Jupiter Group’s way of working, combined with the strong relationships it has nurtured with its growing partners, allows it to work to the highest standard and give back to its communities. The company recently announced that waste from its UK based BRCGS AA rated prepared facility is being transformed into energy to power around 2,000 local community homes.

Fresh fruit waste is processed through an anaerobic digester on a farm local to Jupiter Group’s headquarters where bacteria break down the fruit in the absence of oxygen and naturally produce 10,500 kilowatts of energy each day, with 8,000kw exported to power homes close by.

In line with the rapidly increasing global movement towards sustainable packaging, the company has partnered with the packaging supplier Sharpak Aylesham and the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ (POP) initiative to introduce a recycled solution for its prepared fruit punnets.

“Our 400g Watermelon and Pineapple packs, already supplied into two major retailers in the UK are the company’s first punnets to include Prevented Ocean Plastic™ (POP) and divert high-quality plastic from the ocean,” Tweddle tells us. “Not only sourced from plastic that would otherwise have made it into the ocean, our POP punnets are also 100% recyclable.”

Supporting Communities

When speaking of giving back to communities local to their farms and HQ, Tweddle says “As the largest benefactor of the Nancy Tweddle Foundation, we have been able to work in partnership with our communities to support our people and their growth.”

The Nancy Tweddle Foundation is an independent international NGO which is Not for Profit with a focus on developing agricultural supply infrastructures, sustainable agricultural supply chains, implementing agricultural technology and uplifting communities to benefit rural economies.

Some of the initiatives that Jupiter Group has supported through the NT Foundation include Rockafellas Football Club, supporting a safe haven in South Africa for young people who live in a crime-ridden township on the Cape flats. The Foundation also supports the Little Stars Crèche on the Group’s largest South African citrus farm, offering a childcare provision so women with families have the same opportunity to work as their male counterparts. A computer school in Pune India, with British and Indian Rotarian Societies working in collaboration, has also received support from the Foundation who were able to refurbish and install 30 new computers into a girls’ school in India, not only benefitting the students but also their parents and community.

An Ever-Evolving Offering

Jupiter Group is investing heavily in its communities, and of course, its growers. But it is also investing in its own product lines.

“Our continual new variety development keeps us on our toes to satisfy the consumer and retailer demand globally,” Tweddle says. “We’re looking forward to planting our new variety citrus and expanding our exciting testbeds.”

Moving forward, Jupiter Group’s offering is only going to grow and become more exciting, particularly with the support of its partners.

“With ongoing support from world-renowned table grape breeders Grapa Varieties and our NV citrus partners, Citrus Genesis we’re delighted to be innovating to add value to the market and to provide our customers with new and pioneering fresh produce options,” says Tweddle. “The continual development of our transparent supply chain is ever-evolving and set to really shape the landscape for fruits of the future.”

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