15 September 2020. New voluntary levy for winter cereal industry.
14 September 2020. Agribusiness confidence rebounded in the third quarter of 2020.
9 September 2020. Industry appeals to country to separate paper products for recycling.
8 September 2020. Connect, share knowledge, and learn about the latest industry developments as we explore contemporary developments and topics within the theme – Find your Agri-Vision 2020. Read more…
21 August 2020. Agbiz welcomes alert level 2 and lifting of alcohol and tobacco ban.
20 August 2020. Great tailwinds for the fresh produce industry. Read more…
19 August 2020. RELISH THE POWER OF PRODUCE TO FIGHT DISEASE.
17 August 2020.
The South African wine industry acknowledges tonight’s announcement by president Ramaphosa to resume local trade and distribution of alcohol under alert level 2 from midnight 17 August 2020, but says the industry still has a long road to recovery.
“Although we are grateful to start trading and delivering online sales again, we are dismayed at the extent of the damage caused to our industry during the temporary ban on exports and extended restrictions on local sales,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry organisation Vinpro.
“It might be too little too late. Many wine businesses have already closed down and a long road to recovery lies ahead for the industry as a whole,” says Basson.
The industry is believed to have lost more than R7 billion since the introduction of sales restrictions in March 2020. Following the initial nine-week ban on local sales, five-week ban on exports and second domestic sales ban, Vinpro estimates that more than 80 wineries and 350 wine grape producers would go out of business over the next 18 months, with a potential loss of more than 21 000 jobs across the value-chain.
Vinpro has been working closely with industry partners on a disaster recovery plan to address the urgent need to stabilise the sector, including the extension of further excise relief for the current year, as well as the 2021 season, addressing bottlenecks and challenges at the Cape Town Port and formulating solutions to reduce a current wine surplus of around 300 million litres.
“The wine industry is geared to reopen domestic trade and distribution with all necessary health and safety regulations in place, while focusing on changing behaviour with regard to responsible production, promotion, trade and consumption.”
Issued by: Vinpro
Media enquiries: Wanda Augustyn
Tel: 021 276 0458
12 August 2020. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, SAYS WINE INDUSTRY BODY ON ALCOHOL BAN
“The South African wine industry, including wine tourism, is in a state of disaster. Urgent intervention is needed or else one of the oldest agricultural industries in the country will not survive,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry body, Vinpro.
“Many wine businesses have already closed down due to the previous and current trade restrictions, and the rest of the industry will simply not survive a continued alcohol ban, leaving tens of thousands of employees without any income, possibilities or hope.”
The wine industry has geared itself to reopen domestic trade and distribution with all necessary health and safety regulations in place, while focusing on changing behaviour with regard to responsible production, promotion, trade and consumption. “We therefore support the Western Cape government’s call for the safe reopening of all businesses and the domestic sale of alcohol, along with targeted interventions.”
Western Cape premier Alan Winde said in a recent statement: “For as long as the Western Cape can assure access to health facilities for all Covid-19 patients, the temporary ban on the sale of alcohol should be lifted immediately, in conjunction with the implementation of smart interventions to curb the negative impacts of alcohol over the medium to long term.”
Vinpro has been in frequent deliberations with government since the lockdown was announced in March 2020.
“Since the state of disaster was announced and the whole country was put on full lockdown, we have negotiated with government to allow the wine industry to complete the 2020 wine harvest and then to allow for exports and domestic trade,” says Basson. “We understood the severity of the situation in the country then and now and we supported and still support government’s efforts in saving lives by empowering the wine industry to adhere to all regulations with the necessary information on safety protocols.”
Saving lives, however, needs to be in careful balance with saving the livelihoods of people. Wine is an agricultural product, it’s seasonal, which means that vines don’t wait for trade restrictions to be lifted before they produce grapes. “Our producers are already preparing for the 2021 wine harvest, however with close to 300 million litres of surplus wine still in cellar tanks, we might not have space for the new crop. The situation is dire,” Basson says.
While many view legal action as the most effective means to reopen trade, Vinpro believes that the most urgent and productive discussions affecting policy in the short, medium and long-term are taking place at a high level directly with government, business, labour and civil society through the Nedlac forum.
“That is why Vinpro, together with the rest of the alcohol industry, has been working towards establishing a new social compact which positions short-, medium- and long-term solutions and targeted interventions to the societal challenges linked to alcohol abuse and its impact on the health sector.
“As the custodians of the South African wine industry, we strive towards securing the future of our industry for generations to come. We therefore choose to work with government on solutions that will stabilise the sector right now, rebuild it in the medium term and grow the industry in the long run.”
The industry requested and analysed the empirical data on which the sales ban decision was made, and proposed and agreed to a set of conditions that would serve as prerequisites to lift the ban, including commitments with regard to alcohol harm reduction projects, health system support, limited marketing and promotion actions for a specified period, as well as setting up a joint forum to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the short, medium and long term regulatory environment.
“A social compact is an agreement between various parties, not a one-sided concord. It’s a give and take and currently we are frustrated with government’s lack of a commitment on the next action steps.”
The question of whether local liquor sales will be opened up when the current advanced alert level 3 is re-evaluated from 15 August onward, will be a make or break decision for the wine industry. The initial nine-week ban on local sales, and five-week ban on exports will result in more than 80 wineries and 350 wine grape producers going out of business, with a potential loss of more than 21 000 jobs across the value-chain over the next 18 months which may escalate significantly following the second ban.
According to Vinpro chairman Anton Smuts, the wine industry is also dominated by smaller businesses – 40% of farmers produce less than 100 tonnes and a further 36% less than 500 tonnes per year – of which the majority do not have sufficient bridging finance to get them through the financial drought.
“As one of the oldest agricultural industries in South Africa our grapes are cultivated by 2 873 farmers and their 40 000 employees and our wines are crafted by skilled winemakers and their assistants in our 533 wineries, with many more input suppliers and service providers in the value-chain being dependent on the market reopening,” Smuts says. “For every one job on a farm, a further 10 jobs are created in the rest of the value-chain. We are fed up with the situation. The ban has served its purpose and should be lifted immediately.”
Basson says the industry understands that the current situation remains extremely complex, but because of the decline in the infection rate in the Western Cape and other provinces, increased capacity at hospitals and agreed upon proposals, there is absolutely no reason to keep the current ban on wines sales in place.
“Enough is enough. If you think about it rationally, the ban doesn’t make sense anymore. We have done our utmost to save lives, however, the time has come to now save the livelihoods of the people who work in and depend on the South African wine industry,” says Basson.
Issued by: Vinpro
Media enquiries: Wanda Augustyn
Tel: 021 276 0458
6 August 2020. The annual Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference hosted by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) will take place on 18-20 August 2020 as a virtual conference with free registration.
Fresh Connections: Southern Africa is the largest gathering of the fresh produce industry in southern Africa. For the last decade, this event has brought together the entire fresh produce supply chain, from growers to exporters, produce markets, market agents, retailers, as well as input suppliers and service providers.
“The focus of this year’s conference is on critical issues such as health and wellness, and to help fresh produce businesses and industry stakeholders to prepare for the future landscape,” says Lianne Jones, Country Manager of PMA Southern Africa.
“The programme comprises keynote presentations from renowned top-class speakers inside and outside the industry, expert panel discussions and breakout streams focusing on industry-specific topics.”
Cathy Burns, Chief Executive Officer of PMA, will deliver the state of the industry keynote at the opening of the conference on 19 August by providing a glimpse on global trends in technology, e-commerce, talent, sustainability, and consumer trends, as well as how these have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peter van Kets, a professional extreme adventurer, will inspire attendees to achieve and sustain true success. During this motivational session, Van Kets will use lessons learned from his expeditions and relate them to the business environment to take attendees on a powerful journey and change the way they think about themselves and their businesses.
Dr. William Li, a world-renowned physician, scientist and author of New York Times Bestseller Eat To Beat Disease will present at a PMA members-only session. He will share why now, more than ever, we must fuel our menus and our bodies with the power of produce. Dr. Li will explain how fresh produce can help build immunity, and tweaks one can make to existing dishes to maintain or rebuild immunity after a virus has hit.
During two breakout streams, attendees can choose to join the supply chain stream or the sustainability stream. Supply chains are the core of most businesses today and essential to keep all supply chain elements running smoothly to ensure on-time delivery of products and services. In this stream, industry experts and attendees will tackle supply chain issues. A panel of experts in the sustainability stream will help attendees discover what the future – 10 years from now – might hold and how to pivot a business strategy for long-term sustainable growth.
In a consumer/retail focused panel discussion, leading experts will share their insights and guide attendees to stay ahead of the curve, before they breakout into small groups for further discussions and to get answers to burning questions.
In an engaging, interactive PMA members-only session, dietitian Retha Harmse, and meal-kit chef Jolin Judd, will demonstrate how to prepare a healthy meal from a meal-kit.
For more information, visit www.pma/FCSouthernAfrica.com
About Produce Marketing Association
Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. PMA has a unique network of more than 53,000 member contacts from more than 2,900 member companies, which are based in 54 countries across six continents. These contacts span all sizes and types of businesses across the supply chain. For more information, visit www.pma.com
Country Manager for PMA Southern Africa
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