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Africa Outlook

Nature's
Garden

NATURE'S GARDEN

We do the gardening for you



Nature's Garden have always aimed to offer the perfect balance of quality, taste, variety and convenience to its customers

Writer Matt Bone
Project Manager Callum Philp

Nature's Garden have been in the business of producing frozen vegetables and chips in South Africa for over 15 years. Throughout this relatively short period of time, the company have grown vastly but have adhered to a strong set of ideals originally set out when the company began. Nature's Garden still believe in sourcing only the best quality vegetables from hand-picked local farmers and delivering them in perfect condition to their customers.

With a constantly changing market, Nature's Garden have always aimed to offer the perfect balance of quality, taste, variety and convenience to its customers. Families in South Africa are becoming far more conscious of their diet and eating habits and are looking towards companies in the food industry to become as conscious with their products. With many people juggling a busy, modern lifestyle, Nature's Garden proudly highlight that growing all your own vegetables is simply not a realistic option, so instead they will do the gardening for you. It is this simple mantra that has made Nature's Garden the successful company it is today.

From Fields to Freezers
Nature's Garden believe their vegetables are of the highest quality because they handpick only the best farms and farmers who share in their commitment to deliver quality and sustainable farming.

The company proudly highlights that they have over 50 hand-picked farms across South Africa, who grow vegetables for Nature's Garden. All 50 farms are continuously researching new varieties and farming methods to provide the best quality products for the customers.

To ensure that a strong working relationship between themselves and their suppliers is always maintained, Nature's Garden have agreed contracts with all their producers to ensure they have a stable income. This means that the producers and farmers can be rest assured that the food being grown is bought at a fair and agreed price, helping to stabilise the farming economy all year round.

Fresh vs Frozen
One of the bigger debates around food produce is the difference in taste and quality between fresh vegetables and frozen ones. Frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts, several studies have found.

Fresh vegetables can lose up to 45 percent of their nutrients by the time they reach the dinner table. With the produce spending long periods in storage, being transported and sitting on the shelves in supermarkets, meaning the food can be more than two weeks old from being picked to being on your plate. By contrast, produce that is frozen close to the point of harvest, such as that prepared by Nature's Garden, maintains a higher level of several vitamins and nutrients, which are much better for you.

In a recent survey, eighty percent of shoppers think the fresh vegetables sold in supermarket are less than four days old. In truth, they can be up to nine days old when they arrive, and sit on the shelf for a further four. When you then include the amount of time these vegetables are potentially stored at home before being eaten, these 'fresh' items can be more than two weeks old.

Studies have found that in these circumstances green beans can have lost nearly half of their nutrients. Broccoli and cauliflower can lose up to 25 per cent, peas around 15 percent and carrots just 10 percent. The key nutrients the vegetables contain are vitamin C and iron, magnesium, vitamin A, which are said to block the development of cancer.

Researchers have concluded that consumers should ignore the popular mistaken viewpoint that "fresh" produce sold in supermarkets and shops is always better for us than frozen food. Frozen food can be nutritionally equivalent or in some cases can be more nutritionally beneficial for you.

A Positive Process
Like any good food manufacturing company, having a strong process in place for the produce's journey from the field to the freezer, is paramount. Nature's Garden start this process by turning only the richest of soil, then planting the best variants of vegetable seeds available at the most fertile moment. The seedlings are fed and nourished until they grow healthy and strong and are then harvested the moment they peak.

Because all of the vegetables used by Nature's Garden are grown locally, they can be harvested and sent for freezing within hours. With the state of the art, efficient Flash Freeze™ method, Nature's Garden are proud to proclaim that they have "managed to capture the goodness of Nature's Garden for you." That said, the company also pride themselves on delivering a product that is defined by both its taste and its quality.

By utilising the Flash Freeze™ process for all of their vegetables, the company is able to preserve the vitamins naturally occurring in the vegetables for maximum taste and health benefits. The Nature's Garden freezing method locks in nutrients and studies have shown that this offers a higher concentration of nutrients than lower-quality or older fresh produce. This also means that the vegetables are available all year round as opposed to being seasonal options only.

A New Design
In September 2013 the entire Nature's Garden range received a fresh new look with totally redesigned packaging. The new designs showcase Nature's Garden's commitment to only the best quality vegetables while creating appetite appeal through the mouth-watering images on the packaging.

With the new look in place, the company hope even more consumers will be inspired to experience the delicious farm fresh taste and locked in goodness that Nature's Garden offers. The new packaging goes hand-in-hand with a new logo design that features a tractor motif, emphasising the fresh-from-the-farm credentials of Nature's Garden. With Nature's Garden always ensuring that the vegetables they produce and freeze for their consumers are always of the highest quality and with as many naturally occurring nutrients, consumers can be assured that they are making the right choice when it comes to feeding their families.