"We want to facilitate a significant shift in the inclusion and sustainable participation of black South Africans within secondary agriculture in the fresh produce export value chain."
Towards achieving our vision as stated above, the FPEF has the following transformation initiatives:
FPEF Graduate Placement programme
The goal of the FPEF Graduate Placement programme is to place high-calibre, black tertiary graduates into junior commercial, logistic and post-harvest roles at South African fruit export companies – on a fixed-term contract for one year – with a view of providing long-term career opportunities for successful candidates. The vision is to integrate a growing group of talented black individuals into the heart of the industry. We hope and trust that many of these individuals will grow to become future leaders in the industry in executive management and ownership roles.
Click on the link to find out how the programme impacted Bongeka Buthelezi at Suiderland Plase.
FPEF member transformation and AgriBEE support
A key responsibility of the FPEF is to encourage and support transformation initiatives within its membership. The FPEF facilitates an annual Transformation Webinar as a platform to encourage, inspire and equip senior decision-makers within fruit export companies with respect to transformation. The FPEF also provides updates on the AgriBEE codes and related legislation and highlights the implications for exporters.
Emerging exporter support
It is vital that sustainable and successful black-owned fresh produce export companies are established in South Africa. To this end, the FPEF offers free membership to emerging exporters for a minimum period of two years. Support is also provided on an ad hoc basis through mentorship, networking and training.
Emerging farmer support
The FPEF Transformation Manager addresses emerging farmers nationally on a regular basis – in collaboration with primary growers’ associations – covering topics such as export market access, the role of exporters, grower relationships with exporters and the role of the FPEF’s Code of Conduct to protect growers. The FPEF also provides support to black growers attending international trade shows – in terms of pre-trip training, orientation and accompanying growers where necessary and relevant.
Other transformation activities
AgriSETA Horticulture Sector Sub-Committee
The FPEF serves on the Horticulture Sector Sub-Committee and the Sectoral Skills Committee of the Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA); to represent the interests of FPEF members within the AgriSETA.
Citrus Industry Trust
The FPEF Transformation Manager serves as a trustee on the Citrus Industry Trust (CIT) on behalf of the FPEF. The CIT administers funds on behalf of the South African citrus industry – currently utilised for enterprise development and training within the citrus industry.
The FPEF has two well-established training programmes. The Top of the Class (TOC) programme provides training on the fruit export value chain – from field to fork, whilst the Leadership and Mentorship programme (L&M) is a leadership and personal development programme. The programmes, developed specifically for the fruit industry in South Africa by the FPEF, are aimed at employees in junior to middle management within fruit export companies, farms and pack houses, as well as emerging or aspiring farmers and exporters. These intensive training programmes are spread over a number of full-day sessions, totaling six to nine days. Training is available online twice a year or in person for larger groups.
Dissemination of exporter transformation status and successes
Various government institutions request information on a regular basis from the FPEF regarding the transformation status and progress of the fresh produce export industry. This has led the FPEF to conduct an annual transformation survey, which provides updated information in order to measure and report on transformation progress. The FPEF is also a member of the Fruit Industry Value Chain Round Table (FIVCRT) and the FIVCRT Transformation Working Group – together with the other Fruit SA member associations. The purpose of the FIVCRT is to coordinate efforts amongst members in a number of key areas within the fruit industry, whilst the working group consolidates and reports on transformation progress within Fruit SA.