Nigel Jacobs, founder of Jacobs Jam, says running a business is tough. In his quest to break out, he encountered many setbacks, including the closure of promising doors. But with diligence, solid investigation and support, and consistent effort, he finally reached the summit.
Jacobs shares this and more on this edition of Gather To Grow. “When people say you will not earn a salary for the first five years, we can really testament to that because that has been our experience.”
He stresses the significance of preparation and the need for planning in determining the feasibility of any project’s proposed development.
“Regardless of your lifestyle, or your LSM measurements; how rich or poor you are in South Africa, if you open the pantry or the fridge, you’re guarantee to find a tin of jam or a plastic cup of jam in every single household. That is why we decided on jam.”
Storage of fruit and production planning
According to Jacobs, jam manufacturing is a seasonal activity. He says that there are no difficulties in keeping the fruit because Ceres fruit processors handle the cooking procedure. As a result, they buy fruit that has already been cooked 30% and finish cooking it.
He continues by saying that this is good for business because making jam is a seasonal process and they can take advantage of the off-season by producing apricot jam in the winter.
“When we cook the jam, we do not add any preservatives, or any additives. And once it’s cooked beyond a certain temperature, then it can last 18-36 months at ambient shelf life.”
Since it has a high sugar content, nothing can truly develop within product and create a contamination, he adds, thus the jam can be stored in cupboards rather than requiring a special cold storeroom.
“If you work with fresh fruit, you have to either store the fruit for 12 months, so that you can have a continuous supply during the year or you will have to cook up an entire crop of apricots.”
Throughout the session, Jacobs discusses:
- Food safety regulations;
- Expenses associated with the introduction of new flavours and packaging; and
- Export plans and development.
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