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Hortgro Communications keeping you informed

Communication is a golden thread that runs through all the departments at Hortgro, and we all have the same goal: to inform and provide growers with quality information, stimulate knowledge in order to increase profit and build transformational bridges.

Here is a summary of what the Communications Department has been up to in 2017.

We are responsible for: the generation of content (writing, photography, video’s, design), repackaging of information (business-critical and marketing material), science communication and technology transfer, public relations activities, press releases, events, liaising with the media, crisis communication, internal communications, managing three websites (,,, social media, and advertisements. Our collaboration with kykNET/Grootplaas continued and resulted in another series of industry video clips that were broadcasted during the year.

Our overarching strategic themes this year were: building the Hortgro brand; transformation (social impact, new entrants, youth, women in agriculture and agricultural workers), stimulating market-related information (assisting with marketing campaigns, social media strategy, health), technology transfer (science communication) and general news items. Our biggest brag was that Hortgro was the only industry organisation that was mentioned by the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, in her annual opening address earlier this year.

Die jaar 2017 was ’n strategiejaar. Verskeie opnames is aan belanghebbendes gestuur om elke aspek van Hortgro se funksies te toets. In die kommunikasiedepartement het ons data ingesamel oor al die platforms wat ons tans gebruik en vir beide die steen- en kernvruggroepe het ons hoofsaaklik goeie tot uitstekende terugvoer gekry. Produsente het aangedui dat hulle die tegniese inligting soos vervat in die freshNotes, Tydige Wenke, spesiale tegniese e-pos-inligtingstukke die hoogste gradeer. Vind die belangrikste publikasies hier:


Die twee jaaroorsigte: Hortgro en Hortgro Science; Suid-Afrikaanse Vrugtejoernaal, asook die maandelikse nuusbrief het ook baie positiewe terugvoer gekry. Our events are well attended with a new record for the Symposium’s Pome Fruit Field Day with 321 delegates attending.

  • The Hortgro Science Technical Symposium welcomed 640 delegates over five days/ 24 sponsors/ 55 speakers.
  • The August Irrigation Seminar, Simondium hosted 335 stakeholders.
  • Agri’s got Talent – was a sold out show with 500 people attending.
  • The September Langkloof Irrigation Seminar had 79 delegates.
  • The Langkloof Seminar & Orchard Walk 2016, which focused on climate change was attended by 70 role players.
  • The Pome Field Day (March 2017) had 56 attendees.


In the evaluation process producers indicated that they would prefer more one-on-one communication activities such as field days and information days. In an effort to identify growers’ needs and challenges Hortgro established regional offices in Grabouw, Ceres, Free State and the Langkloof – each with their own office representative. These offices will stimulate two-way communication between Hortgro and producers on the ground. In the survey feedback producers also acknowledged that they are slow on social media uptake. Social media, however, is here to stay. It is an inevitable tool in the communication box, one that is free and powerful. A tool we use to connect with younger generations and different stakeholder groups across the board and internationally. Therefore, we encourage producers to join us on Facebook (Hortgro and Hortgro Science), Twitter, Instagram and visit our websites: and

In ’n inligtingsoorlaaide wêreld is ons sensitief vir produsente se min tyd. Ons het weeklikse e-pos-verkeer verminder en inligtingstukke word eerder saam in die maandelikse elektroniese nuusbrief verpak. Om op hoogte van bedryfsnuus te bly, is dit belangrik dat produsente die nuusbrief lees. Vir hierdie platform om effektief te wees, is dit eweneens belangrik dat ons produsente se korrekte e-pos-kontakbesonderhede het. Hortgro se databasis word saamgestel uit die boomsensus-inligting wat ons een maal per jaar van produsente ontvang. Dit bly produsente se verantwoordelikheid om toe te sien dat hierdie inligting opgedateer word en dat die regte persone by besighede inligting ontvang. Indien dit onder u aandag kom dat u inligting nie ontvang nie, moet u ons kontak:

In November 2016 het ons namens Saappa en  Areflh (Assembly of the European Regions producing Fruit, Vegetables and Ornamental Plants) die negende Interpera Wêreldkongres by Simondium aangebied. Meer as ‘n honderd internasionale peerentoesiaste het hierdie prestige geleentheid bygewoon. Dit was die eerste keer dat hierdie kongres in Suid-Afrika aangebied is en dit was ‘n groot eer om deel te wees hiervan en so ‘n netwerkgeleentheid te skep vir plaaslike produsente en internasionale rolspelers.

Our fourth Agri’s got Talent – our song contest for agricultural workers – is going from strength to strength. Music has no boundaries, and the 2017 competition saw a super-talented Top Ten competing for the title early in August at the Nederburg Estate. Currently, the project is funded by Saappa, Saspa, VinPro and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. We are grateful that Sati came on board to sponsor the after-care programme. We have big dreams for this competition but are in dire need of more funding. One thing is for sure, we have a talented pool of individuals operating in the orchards, pack houses and on farms.

Early in the year, we joined our sister industry organisations to host Max MacGillivray and Gareth Jones on their Great Fruit Adventure. These two adventurers motorbiked all the way from London through Africa, to raise awareness for the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. Max was nominated for the UK Food Hero award and received a special award from the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Twenty years ago, during 1997, the agricultural arena changed when the deregulation of the fruit industry took place, to create a free market system for fruit exporters. To celebrate 20 years of fruit freedom, we compiled a book, video and hosted a gala event. Download the book, 20 Years of Fruit Freedom: A Review, here:

Don’t miss out. Visit the Hortgro newsroom here:

“An educated, enlightened and informed grower is the surest way of promoting the health of an industry.” – with apologies to Nelson Mandela.

Social media update (followers at the time of writing):

  • Hortgro Facebook: 1 518
  • Hortgro Science Facebook: 821
  • Agri’s got Talent 1 301
  • Twitter: 1055
  • Instagram: 171
  • Hortgro YouTube Channel (71 videos)


Communications activity grid:

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