VitroplantSA, formerly Ruvalabs, is a Plant Biotechnology Company situated in Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa. We operate a large modern ‘In Vitro’ plant tissue culture laboratory designed, custom built and equipped for large scale commercial tissue culture propagation.
Our ‘In Vitro’ young plant facility includes specialised acclimatisation chambers within a climate controlled building. Careful management of humidity, temperature and light creates a perfect environment for transplant into trays and hardening within our controlled environment greenhouses. The VitroplantSA facility is approved by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries as a Post Entry Quarantine Station (Pest Control Act No 36 of 1983 and International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures). This authorisation facilitates mass imports of in vitro plant material from our colleagues at Vitroplant Italy. Fruit Rootstock plant propagation is at the core of our business for supply to the South African pome and stone deciduous fruit industry. In addition we have experience in our own initiations, grape embryo rescue and international ornamental plant exports.
We are also approved by the South African Potato Certification Scheme as a multi crop maintenance and propagation facility for in vitro plantlets and we have our own gene bank for over 120 potato varieties. Efficient reliable production is dependent on skilled people and quality clean plant material stocks. VitroplantSA has invested heavily in both.
In 2019, Ruvalabs changed our name to ‘VitroplantSA’. This was an extremely exciting new course for all Ruvalabs’ current and future customers and all of our employees and suppliers. In the last 3 years we have experienced rapid growth and established a very strong and reliable infrastructure for producing and delivering commercially viable quantities of new pome and stone fruit rootstocks.
We have a wide range of apple rootstocks, including M9 and CG778. Five cherry rootstocks... and a breakthrough in new walnut, hazel nut, almond and pomegranate rootstock. Also, Topfruit’s brand new range of blueberries, and various other open blueberry varieties. Together with over 60 potato varieties and several ornamental and medicinal plants.
These technologies have a very positive effect, providing clean disease and virus free agricultural plants for nurseries and new orchard production, increasing viability and food production sustainability. Our success is made possible by the continued support and international approval provided by Stellenbosch Department of Agriculture forestry and fisheries ‘DAFF’ and their authorization for VitroplantSA/Ruvalabs to operate a ‘Post Entry Quarantine’ facility and their constructive engagement with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture to endorse CAV Tebano and Vitroplant as accredited import suppliers of clean ‘in vitro’ tissue culture mother plant material.
Vitroplant Italia is celebrating 40 years as one of Europe’s leading producers for tissue culture plants and finished trees throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Americas. Their formal investment in South Africa’s agricultural sector now provides a solution and a major boost to quality, sustainability, technology support and supply of excellent young plant material into Southern African agriculture.
During the process of VitroplantSA’s name change and equity restructure we have also been fortunate to have secured further equity investment and participation from Histhil and the ZZ2 group.