Agbiz Press Statement

3 December 2018 – Agbiz confirms its position on property rights and inclusive growth.

“As stated in its comprehensive submission to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in June 2018, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) confirms its strong position on the protection and extension of property rights. Property rights underline the values and principles related to individual liberty and economic freedom. A strong property rights system is the enabler for fostering investment and economic growth, human capabilities, research and innovation, environmental performance, and the creation of social capital. Property rights are the key ingredient for the prosperity of society,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today.

 The greatest failure of land reform in South Africa has been the inability of government to extend property rights to previously disadvantaged individuals, especially those with tenuous tenure security in the communal areas and in various human settlements. Orderly, predictable and market-based land reform, within the ambit of the current Constitution of South Africa, is essential to ensure tenure security, business confidence and to maintain the integrity of the agro-food system of South Africa.

“Clearly South Africa, including the agribusiness sector, needs to do more to sustainably establish far more black farmers and entrepreneurs in primary agriculture and agribusiness, and thereby ensure inclusive growth at a significant scale. Various models, including participation in blended finance models, have been proposed to government, and commitments provided, to effect land reform and transformation,” Dr Purchase added.

Dr John Purchase said that Agbiz will continue to engage government constructively through various fora, including the Presidential Land Reform Advisory Panel and Nedlac, to ensure that any proposed amendments to the Constitution, as well as potential amendments to the Expropriation Bill and other legislation on expropriation without compensation (EWC), will not harm the economy and the sector specifically.  If need be, Agbiz reserves its right to challenge such amendments that may negatively impact on the sector if and when the process merits a challenge. Agbiz has also circulated a status update (Annexure A) to keep its members and their clients abreast of the latest developments, contextualising the expropriation debate within the changes taking place in the broader land reform programme.




Dr John Purchase

CEO: Agbiz



Agbiz Press Release

16 November 2018 – Agbiz responds to the Constitutional Review Committee’s recommendation
to amend the Constitution to provide for land expropriation without compensation.

Wine grape vineyards on the road to recovery after debilitating drought

15 November 2018 – The South African wine industry expects at this early stage that the 2019 wine grape crop will return to normal levels in most regions thanks to good rainfall hot on the heels of a three year-long drought. The Klein Karoo however, is still experiencing a serious water shortage.

SATI Press Release

22 October 2018 – The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released the 1st Crop Estimate for the 2018/2019 season with volumes estimated to be between 63,2 and 70,1 million cartons.

Vinpro Information Day

10 October 2018 – The Nedbank Vinpro Information Day, with the theme It starts with you, will be held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC), on 17 January 2019 from 09:00 – 15:00.

The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference News


 If we don’t know what we don’t know, how can we tap into the true potential of South Africa’s wine and food tourism, argues tourism maven Mari Biggs. The convener of this year’s The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference has lined up several high-profile international and local speakers, some of whom will discuss the role of big data as part of the event’s wider theme of innovation. The conference takes place on 17 October at Spier near Stellenbosch.

Convinced that big data is pivotal to helping the industry catch up on its global competitors, she says: “Data is the key to unlocking real-time, unmitigated insights into existing and potential markets. Data can give us information that frees us from confirmation bias and that can catalyse new ways of reaching consumers. Now’s the time. We just can’t afford to keep on letting our competitors steal a march on us.”

UNWTO, the World Tourism Organisation that is also focusing on data, innovation and the digital impact on tourism this year, has found Africa’s tourism competitiveness to be lagging its competitors and operating below its potential. Biggs believes South Africa can play a leading role in reversing the situation.

This year’s headline speaker will be renowned big-data specialist Cathy Huyghe, co-founder and CEO of Enolytics LLC. Huyghe, who is also a columnist for Forbes as well as Inc, and who has written for the Harvard Business Review, consults to a range of wineries, wine marketing bodies and beverage businesses in the Americas and Europe. She stresses that big data is no longer the exclusive domain of well-resourced corporates and that it can drive better business decision-making.  In addition, she highlights that given today’s technology, and the platforms available to consumers to convey what they think about wine, it just doesn’t make sense anymore to have a blind spot around consumer behaviour and sentiment.

“When harnessed strategically, big data can provide a highly cost-effective way to build insights for well-targeted interventions by all types of business, regardless of size. The skill lies in knowing the type of data to seek and how to interpret it.  By integrating different sources of data, it becomes possible to identify previously unrealised opportunities and obstacles.

“Working with data specialists can help in developing a far more comprehensive picture of consumers than ever before.  It allows decision-makers to discover what triggers certain consumer behaviours and choices, their spending thresholds, responses to competitor offerings and more. Data can help wine businesses identify who their competition actually is and not necessarily who they think it is.  It can also uncover correlations that would not otherwise have been apparent.  All these insights can help to create far more powerful, targeted and relevant sales and marketing strategies.

“How deep you drill in your analysis depends on your requirements, but it is possible to identify country-, category-, wine-style- and brand- and even label-specific trends.”

Although not one of the speakers, Alan Winde, Western Cape minister of economic opportunities, whose portfolio includes tourism, also advocates for ramped-up digitisation, big data and machine-learning to help hard-pressed South African producers to market more effectively at a time of persistent rand volatility.  “It is essential to spend smarter to get results. Tourism in the Western Cape is our fastest-growing sector, employing over 200 000 people and generating R17 billion for our economy each year. We believe the potential is there to grow the number of direct jobs to over 200 000.”

Another high-profile speaker to address guests will be Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, who also serves on the board of Silicon Cape, Cape Town’s technology promotion initiative. Focusing on Cape Town’s public-private management of the water crisis in relation to tourism, his talk will be entitled “The power of a single voice; don’t let a crisis go to waste”.

“January 2018 marks the decisive moment when as a province, we embraced the opportunity to change our relationship with water forever,” Harris says.

“The ‘Cape Town Model’ for dealing with climate change shows how tourism can be an important part of the solution. Our strategy very much included tourists as part of the water-wise solution, calling on visitors to truly embrace what it is like to live in our city and province by encouraging them to ‘save like a local’. The overwhelmingly positive response points the way for other metropoles around the world to apply what we have learned,” he concluded.

Other conference speakers include online story-teller Chris Joubert; Spicer de Villiers, who owns A Single Thread, a boutique communications agency active in local wine; and Marisah Nieuwoudt, wine tourism manager for VinPro, the organisation that represents around 3 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders.

Also addressing delegates will be Dr Donovan Kirkwood, an ecologist and biodiversity conservation specialist; chef and West Coast foraging specialist Kobus van der Merwe; and Dr Serge Raemaekers, a marine biologist who has developed a fresh seafood sustainable value chain to service Cape Town restaurants.

Go to to view the conference programme and line-up of speakers.

For more information on the conference, or to register online, visit

Social media:

Twitter and Facebook: @winefoodconf

Instagram: @businessofwineandfood

Hashtag: #wfconf2018

Suggested social media post:

The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference (@winefoodconf), at Spier on 17 Oct, will feature several high-profile international and local speakers, some of whom will discuss the role of #bigdata as part of the event’s theme of #innovation. #wfconf2018


Conference partners:

Delta Air Lines



Eztix (technology partner)


DATE                                     8 OCTOBER 2018

ISSUED BY                           AUGUST COLLECTIVE

FOR                                        THE BUSINESS OF WINE & FOOD TOURISM CONFERENCE

QUERIES                               MARGI BIGGS, SPECIALIZED TOURS & EVENTS, 021 433 1314 or 082 770 1440

MARLISE POTGIETER/JANI-MARI SWART, AUGUST COLLECTIVE, 072 562 5307/073 183 0695/021 461 0311 OR

Kind regards


AFMA Symposium 2018

4 October 2018 – Theme: Local is ‘lekker’. CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria. 30 October 2018. Read more…