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By Elise-Marie Steenkamp

The fifth group of production managers enrolled in the Mazars-Hortgro learning initiative recently received their certificates. This unique learning and development programme was launched in 2019 when Hortgro engaged the services of Mazars to provide talent management services to the deciduous fruit industry in close collaboration with the industry stakeholders and AgriSETA.

Mazars developed a competency skills framework for production-level managers in the industry, followed by a competency assessment approach and tools. “This programme, now its fourth year, has gone from strength to strength,” says Astrid Arendse, Hortgro’s Human Resources Manager and learning and development project leader.

The recent 16, bring the total of workers that completed the programme to 87 production-level leaders.
The recent group were all workers from the wine industry in the EGVV and Worcester areas. According to Arendse, it is a feather in Hortgro’s cap that other agri industries are also buying into the programme. “Mazars developed the programme specifically for the pome and stone fruit industries. The goal was that the programme should eventually stand on its own feet – with producers acknowledging the programme’s value and thus making it part of their internal training and development plans. Apart from the pome and stone industries, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the wine industry have all seen the value and the impact it makes in the business.”

Group six started on 11 July and will complete the course within the next few months. “By investing in people, we are creating an agriculture environment that we are proud of, and at the same time reshaping individuals, families, and communities,” Arendse said.


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