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Transformation through training

Following on from the FPEF’s vision of transformation through training, the Top of the Class (TOC) and Leadership and Mentorship (L&M) Programmes are initiatives aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of employees throughout the value chain as well as empowering young leaders in the agricultural sector.


Top of the Class (TOC) is a well-known training programme for the fruit industry, initiated by the FPEF more than ten years ago. Intended for farm and pack house workers, as well as existing and emerging exporters, the TOC Programme focuses on all the elements of the fresh fruit supply chain – from harvest to home. The levels are available as follows – basic, intermediate and advanced.


The focus of the Leadership and Mentorship (L&M) Programme is to provide opportunities for employees, especially previously disadvantaged ones, to be promoted into positions of leadership. At the same time, the project aims to improve the capacity of employees who already fill leadership positions. The programme ultimately intends to change the leadership profile on South African fruit farms, pack houses and exporting companies, so it can reflect race and gender in a more equal manner.


To read more about the TOC and L&M Programme, download the information leaflet here.

TOC and L&M Programme

FPEF Graduate Internship

The FPEF Graduate Internship program was launched in 2016. The purpose has been to identify and appoint high calibre black graduates and place them in 1-2 year internships in fruit produce companies in junior commercial roles. The aim is to facilitate the establishment of a growing group of talented black individuals over time, employed in the commercial heart of the industry, in order to further much needed transformation.


Training Funding

We would like to thank the following organisations who have provided valuable funding for the L&M and TOC programmes:



Tesco funded the facilitation of both the L&M and ToC programmes to women in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape within the table grape, stone fruit, citrus and pome fruit sectors.


International Procurement and Logistics (IPL)

IPL funded the facilitation of the L&M and ToC programmes in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape within the table grape, stone fruit, citrus and pome fruit sectors.


South African Table Grape Industry (SATI)

SATI co-funded the delivery of the L&M programme to table grape farmers in the Northern Cape.


Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries

DAFF funded the delivery of the ToC programme to emerging citrus farmers nationwide.


National Agricultural Marketing Council

The NAMC funded the delivery of the TOC programme to emerging deciduous fruit farmers in the Western Cape.


UK Department of International Development

DFID co-funded funded the delivery of the L&M programme in the Eastern Cape.



Sainsbury’s funded the delivery of the TOC programme nationally.