In 1962, Cor Molenaar, who had graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, set off for the United States. Once there he worked for numerous canning companies including the Green Giant Company and Del Monte. Through U.S. fruit packaging engineers, Atlas Pacific, which was already doing business in South Africa, Cor became familiar with pear peelers. This meant that when he returned to South Africa in 1963, he joined H.G. Molenaar as both the sales and service manager in addition to starting the agency for Atlas Pacific pear peeling machines. This was to be the beginning of a long association with various leading U.S. companies.
Guus Molenaar joined the company in January 1966. A graduate electrical engineer, Guus visited the U.S. in 1967 to familiarise himself with Peco, Angelus and Votator, and to secure the agencies for these machines.
Filper and H.G. Molenaar
In 1965 the then leader in the field of peach pitting machinery, Filper, was represented by an agency that hadn’t fared very well in South Africa. Some machine leases were lost as a result of poor customer service, but H.G. Molenaar determinedly recovered the core of the business and it started to flourish. Filper, sensing the keenness and vigor of the company at the foot of Africa, acquired a half share in H.G. Molenaar’s business in 1968. As a result of this partnership, H.G. Molenaar started manufacturing a wider range of machines for a broader market.
As increased fruit tonnages and the need for more processing factories grew, the next decades were characterised by rapid growth for H.G. Molenaar.