About Us

The Team

The Grassroots Group management team comprises of highly qualified professionals who have more than 25 years’ of practical experience in the food, accounting, horticulture, medicinal, agronomy and the industrial and chemical engineering sectors.

The Group has a workforce of more than 300 people, of which 90% are women, this influences the local rural communities positively and builds on our vision for a sustainable business and leaving a legacy.

Our Vision

The Grassroots Group will be the global supplier of choice for natural health and lifestyle products.

Our Mission

The Grassroots Group produces innovative unique products for the natural health and lifestyle market, focused on setting future trends, to inspire and compliment a healthy lifestyle in a sustainable way.

Our Values

Our winning culture defines our attitudes and behaviour that will be required to make our vision a reality.

TRUSTED RELATIONSHIPS

Excellent relationships will ensure success by being the partner of choice.

INTEGRITY

To be transparent and respectful in all our activities.

QUALITY

We will strive for excellence in everything that we do.

INNOVATIVE

Our passion for uniqueness will set the trends.

CAN DO

Positively address all situations.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABLE

Respect all our resources.

PEOPLE

Value the role of our team and their communities.

Our Roots

Prof. Earle Graven founded the Grassroots Group in 1991 following his retirement from the University of Fort Hare, where he held the Chair in Agronomy. Prof. Graven’s main aim was to take Agricultural production skills back to the rural communities and add further value to the local crops though processing.

From modest beginnings, hard work and innovative thinking, the Grassroots Group has grown into a major player in the supply of dried health snacks, dried medicinal and herbal botanicals & decorative dried fruit & vegetables for the global market.

1991

Prof Earle Graven starts producing essential oils on De Hoek farm in Porterville.

1994

The Groenvlei Farm in Gouda is bought and production is established.

1995

We start a plant nursery, focusing on Buchu cuttings.

1996

We add Dried Decorative products to our growing stable of products.
The Phyto Medicinal facility is operational.

2001

Private Equity partner Conafex invests in our company and we restructure our business so that all the disparate companies form one holding company.

2003

We launch Froodia, our first fruit-based snack bar containing Hoodia.

2005

We produce our first edible dried fruit product.
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2009

Containing no added sugar and no preservatives, the Bear yoyo’s and paws & claws are produced and exported to the United Kingdom, where they are a number 1 choice at retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

2010

Private Equity Investor, Acorn, buys into the Grassroots Group.

2011

The Group sells our Essential oils business and we build a new factory to focus on the production of dried fruit. In the same year, we obtain HACCP certification.

2014

As demand grew, we enlarged our factory to produce 2 500 tons of dried fruit per annum.

2015

Lotus Bakeries acquires Urban Fresh Food (the parent company of Bear). The acquisition enabled us to explore new horizons within the health snack market. Closer to home, our factory receives BRC accreditation in the same year.

2018

Lotus Bakeries, bought the Bear production facility.

2019

Production capacity of 4 500 tons and the launch of the unique concentration manufacturing plant.
The launch of Farm World, Grassroots’ first own brand.