African Elephants signal marula harvest time in Limpopo
Issued by hyh on behalf of Amarula - Mar 2nd 2018, 08:47
The time of year has arrived for hundreds of African Elephants to descend on the marula trees of the Valley of Olifants in the Lowveld of Limpopo and to signal to local villagers that it is time to harvest the ripened fruit for their biggest global export, Amarula liqueur.
The harvest is led mostly by the women of the region, which is rich in natural and cultural heritage and includes 25 local villages, as well as game farms, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal land, stretching into the Kruger National Park.
This year, elephant families trekked here to repeat their annual feast of fruit-laden marula trees, some of which reach up to nine meters in height. “It is a spectacular sight that will not endure if we fail to conserve these majestic creatures. Today only about 350 000 African Elephants still survive in the wild. Their numbers are dwindling year on year due to illegal poaching that is claiming on average 96 elephant lives per day. But we are fighting back,” says Liezl Hayes, Amarula’s regional brand manager.
When the elephants have had their fill, the locals collect the fallen marula fruits to sell to the Amarula plant in Phalaborwa, with the blessing of the chiefs of local tribes. A select few also assist with the meticulous fruit sorting, which is normally accompanied by the singing of traditional songs. This process has been the practice since the inception of Africa’s prized liqueur in 1983 and provides financial benefit to 60 000 people annually.
Apart from selling fruit to Distell, the locals also use every bit of the tree for various purposes. Fruit skins are used as crop fertilizer, whilst the bark is used in traditional medicine to treat stomach alignments. The oil derived from the fruit kernels is used extensively too, added to beauty products and used for cooking and food preservation.
Once the sun-ripened yellow fruit is collected, it is de-stoned, crushed and fermented. After fermentation, the marula liquid is distilled and aged in French oak barrels for at least two years in the Western Cape. Dairy cream is added to provide a rich, velvety texture. It is then shipped off to 103 countries around the world.
With elephants so central to the marula ecosystem, the Amarula brand has since 2002 played a pivotal role in the conservation of the endangered African Elephant in South Africa. The Amarula Trust and its conservation partners Wildlife Direct have ramped up efforts to raise awareness about elephant poaching with several global campaigns, including the acclaimed “Name Them, Save Them” and “Don’t Let Them Disappear” campaigns of 2017.
Amarula today is the world’s second largest cream liqueur and has received numerous international awards for its unique product, packaging and extensive work in elephant conservation.
Click here for more information on Amarula
Scottish Leader has launched limited-edition festive season gift packs, featuring the trendsetting I See A Different You creative collective from Soweto, comprising Innocent Mukheli and Vuyo Mpantsha.
A cider so refreshing, that absolutely nothing is too hot for its rejuvenating powers. That’s the idea behind the latest campaign from Hunter’s, Africa’s largest cider brand (and the second-biggest cider brand in the world).
Amarula, in partnership with WildlifeDirect continues work to protect one of Africa’s most precious animals, the African Elephant.
Specialty Scotch single malt producer, Bunnahabhain has won three double gold medals at the prestigious 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the United States.
Try these recipes
No one wants to be in the kitchen for hours before your guests arrive. Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown has the perfect solution: an easy-to-prepare sticky chicken-wing recipe a.k.a. “Sedgwings".
Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown celebrates the festive season with a refreshing, easy-to-prepare cocktail, the Charles Shandy.
Beautiful and bounteous, that is the marula harvest. It lasts for two to three months at most, beginning in January and sometimes extending into March.
The temperature's up and it is time to tame the summer sizzle with a Mzanzi-style cooler, made with delicious Amarula Gold. Gorgeously aromatic and brimming with clear marula fruit notes, this spirit aperitif just begs to be mixed.