Johannesburg is known for its rich local food culture, with many people taking pride in the local produce.
But the city has also faced its share of problems over the past few years, with some of the biggest challenges facing its organic food industry being overproduction, pollution and health issues.
Here are 10 of the city’s most popular organic food brands.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — “Bread and butter” Juhan Jukum is a small but well-known local organic grocer in the capital, Johannesburg.
His shop is decorated with a sign reading, “Eat what you like.”
“We don’t sell food to the public.
We sell it to the community and local businesses,” he told Business Insider.
“We have a great relationship with the community.
We serve all ages, ethnicities and genders, and we are proud to be part of that community.”
The store is also home to a few organic products.
One of them is his “Cream and Butter,” a blend of white chocolate, milk and vanilla.
“It is very good and the texture is just so soft,” Jukums said.
He said his store had recently seen a huge spike in demand, which he said was partly because of the drought.
“The demand for our cream and butter has really gone up,” he said.
“Now, we have about 50 per cent of the customers coming to the shop every day.”
Jukumbu is a well-established organic food store that sells its products on site.
Its owner, Laila Zwarte, told Business Insiders that demand has been strong in recent months.
“People have come from all over the world and they are really looking for our products.
They are happy to pay a small price for a great product,” she said.
While she said she could not give an exact number of orders for the cream and cupcakes, she did say the business had seen a big uptick in sales recently.
“There are lots of people wanting them,” she explained.
“And we sell a lot of them.”
Juhu was also quick to share that the company had recently received approval from the South African Food Safety Authority to import organic milk for sale.
“I am very proud that we are now able to import milk for our customers.
We have received a lot more orders than we could have anticipated and we have also had a lot less people coming to buy,” she told BusinessInsiders.
“This has really helped us in our business and helped us grow.”
Jus Muhafza is another well-loved local organic grocery store owner, who has a loyal following among the locals.
He told Businessinsiders that his store is growing organically, too.
“Our customers are the reason we are here.
We are the only organic store in town.
We also sell to the general public,” he explained.
Muhafa said he has seen an increase in customers as well.
“My store has had a big surge of interest recently.
People are more open-minded and have more interest in organic food,” he continued.
“They are more interested in food and not just food that’s organic.”
Laila Zambezi, a manager at the Juhuan Jukumo organic food supermarket in Johannesburg, told us she is optimistic about the health of her store’s organic food and milk supply.
“As soon as the farmers have the milk and butter, it goes straight to the consumers,” she added.
“But it’s not that simple.
It’s really not that easy.”
The health issues plaguing South Africa’s organic industry are not limited to the country’s cities.
Last year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that a shortage of milk and other farm products could have devastating effects on farmers and communities.
“Overuse of pesticides, and lack of adequate food storage facilities, are two main threats to the health and nutritional status of communities, and the food and feed system is a major factor,” the organization wrote in a report.
The problem of overproduction and overuse of food is especially acute in urban areas, which are struggling with a massive food insecurity crisis.
And while South Africa has some of Africa’s largest urban areas — such as Cape Town, Johannesberg and Pretoria — it is still only one third of the continent’s total food production.
Zwartee, the Jukunum organic grocery owner, said he hopes that his customers will also take the initiative to find out how they can improve their local food environment.
“When you talk to customers, they are open to different ideas and different methods of improving,” he shared.
“That is the only way we can have sustainable food.” —