With a heritage spanning over two and a half decades, Abagold is South Africa’s largest abalone producer and exporter of premium live, canned and dried abalone to markets worldwide. Abagold strives to maintain the legacy of its farmed and ranched abalone, with their long maturation potential, in line with the company’s proud reputation for the production of this fine gourmet item.
Sustainability lies at the core of Abagold’s operations. Celebrating 25 years of operations, the company has also adopted the ‘Six Capitals’ model, as recommended by the International Integrated Reporting Council. Abagold maintains sustainability through initiatives in renewables, conservation and environmental stewardship. These ongoing commitments resulted in Abagold winning the prestigious “Friends of the Sea Award for Aquaculture” in 2022, recognizing the company’s sustainable aquaculture practices, renewable energy programme and environmental initiatives.
The auction featured 24 lots of ‘Investment Grade’ abalone, displayed in unique packaging formats, which will appreciate in value as they mature over the coming years. Presenting ‘Investment Grade’ abalone at the auction highlights Abagold’s commitment to cultivating the finest quality abalone through meticulous farming, precisely timed harvesting, and specialised drying and packaging methods. The top-rated selected lots showcased the exceptional calibre of Abagold’s products and expertise.
To reflect on some of the highlights of the evening, we share some results of the auction.
Lot 9, named ‘Zwelihle’, after the local community that borders the abalone farm in Hermanus, carried one of the top investment grade ratings of 95 and recorded the highest documented price paid for 25 catties of 25-year-old dried abalone. After some very lively competition between buyers, the successful bidder paid over HK$70,000 for this auction lot.
Another successful item was lot 1, named ‘Perlemoen’, the common term for abalone in South Africa, and this item attracted attention amongst many collectors and with an investment grade rating of 95, the 2,5 catties of 25-year-old dried abalone were displayed in their polished shells on a one-of-a-kind wooden frame and was eventually sold for HK$32,000.
The most uniquely packaged lot of dried abalone was lot 7, ‘Fynbos’, named after the unique floral kingdom of the Western Cape. The dried abalone in this lot were displayed in boxes in the shape of one-of-a-kind gold bars. The bidding was fierce for this lot, and it was eventually sold for HK$70,000 for 20 catties of 25-year-old, 3-head-sized abalone.
The featured lot that got bidders so fired up that the auctioneer was obliged to restore order to the proceedings, was one of the silent auction items. In this lot 19, named ‘Langbaai’, after one of the renowned Hermanus beaches, 50 pieces of 100g-plus dried abalone, were displayed in a specially designed hatbox. This lot was sold for HK23,000 via the silent auction process at the end of the evening.
All the abalone made available at the auction were cultivated and grown for many years under the supervision of Abagold and harvested at optimum times of the year. The dried product was preserved for more than one year after the harvest, dried using Abagold’s renowned Kipin and Monpau techniques, selected and prepared for sale.
Tim Hedges, Managing Director of Abagold, emphasised that producing premium abalone requires specialised farming and rearing techniques. “We aspire to advance the value of abalone farming while safeguarding our sustainable farming practices. Our vision for this auction was to set the standard for potential future global platforms and auctions where farms can showcase their dried products, nurturing a new generation of aqua culturists delivering lasting investment grade abalone to the world.” He added that one of the most pleasing outcomes from the auction was that 10% of the proceeds that were donated to the Abagold Development Trust. (ADT). “The funds raised will aid the numerous invaluable developmental initiatives this charitable trust carries out in the communities of Hermanus where most of our employees reside and raise their families.”
As Hedges finally commented: “We cannot hope to produce sustainable, iconic abalone without special attention to the farming and raising of this unique species. Abagold leads the industry in this respect, ensuring the enjoyment and future value of abalone, together with best practice in the marine farming industry.”
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ABAGOLD cultivates abalone, the world’s most desirable seafood, in close harmony with nature at the southernmost tip of Africa. Unique to South Africa’s coastline, the Haliotis Midae abalone species thrives where the pristine cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide the vital nutrients and environment for the production of only the highest quality abalone.
ABAGOLD is the largest abalone producer in South Africa and exports its premium abalone under its registered Chinese trademark. The farms’ abalone is processed in a world-class ISO 22000-accredited facility and sold on a sustainable basis through established marketing and sales channels. ABAGOLD exports live, canned, frozen and dried abalone all over the world, building lasting relationships with customers and consumers.
ABAGOLD is based in the fishing, tourist and whale watching village of Hermanus, two hours drive east of Cape Town in South Africa, and is the largest private sector employer in the region.
In 1995, the founders, Pierre and Jane Hugo, Paul Kruger, Dykie Van Dyk, Etienne Rossouw and Johannes Hamman, invested their time and money to establish Abagold and to promote the commercial farming of abalone in Hermanus. Now over 25 years later, this unique and special auction event, so well represented by this book, provides the perfect opportunity for Abagold to celebrate this impressive milestone.