The Grape Escape: from South Africa to smartphones

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The Grape Escape: from South Africa to smartphones

With the help of animated character Gary the Grape, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) will launch a new mobile app this week that guides users from the vine to the supermarket shelf.garythegrape

Compatible with iPhones and iPods, the children's game follows the "Grape Escape" of Gary, a happy South African grape on his way to market.

SATI communications representative Ashleigh Mackenzie described the app as a fun way to educate children on the origins of their food.

"It basically tracks the journey from the grape fields in South Africa all the way to the supermarket shelves. It takes them through a journey on each level of different stages, in the pack house, on the ship, in the supermarket. It’s about educating children on how fruit gets from farm to shelf," she said.

At the end of each level, Gary provides educational tibits such as, "Grapes were first grown over 8,000 years ago. Grape growing is known as viticulture," or "Growing grapes creates jobs and supports families in South Africa."

Much of the goal of the app is to clarify possible misconceptions about the fruit's ethical and environmental impact. SATI wants children to know from early on that South African grapes are safe and ethical to eat, Mackenzie said.

Gary the GrapePrior to the official launch later this week at Asia Fruit Logistica, SATI executive director Elaine Alexander commented on the app's role in promoting South Africa's image across world markets.

"We’re really excited to be launching our new Gary the Grape app this year. The app explores our ethical trading values, which are becoming increasingly important to shoppers, particularly in Europe," she said in a press statement.

"We chose to launch the app at Asia Fruit Logistica as the East is technology focused and we hope that this will increase the SA Table Grape profile with young members of the Asian and Eastern communities."

The game is also available online, where the organization has provided more information on the 2013-14 season and the industry's ethical and sustainability initiatives.

SATI highlighted its focus this year on the role of grape farming in promoting socio-economic development.


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