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Free State Strategic Engagement

A group of high-ranking government officials from the Free State government and a team from the Remmoho Group, visited Hortgro early in August to explore possible collaboration and get a better understanding of the deciduous fruit industry in South Africa. The group was joined by Saki Mokoena, Free State MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Thabo Meeko, Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA).

A team from Hortgro hosted the group and shared different industry programmes, whereafter the delegation visited the Tissue Culture Facility at Bernheim, outside Paarl. On the last day of the visit, the group was welcomed by Two-a-Day Managing Director Attie van Zyl and his team at the packhouse in Grabouw. Van Zyl shared many of Two-a-Day’s milestones and the group visited the impressive packhouse.

Hortgro Group Operations Manager, Mariette Kotze said that these types of engagements create opportunities. “Opportunities for collaboration and to learn from each other. This engagement will hopefully be the first from many that will lead to the growth of the industry.”

Mr Phuti Kubushi, Group Chief Executive from Remmoho, said that his team was grateful for the opportunity created by Hortgro. “Thank you for your support which was instrumental in showcasing how Hortgro creates an enabling environment for fruit producers. It was such a pleasure getting to meet the Hortgro team under your leadership including Hortfin and hope that we get the chance to meet again soon.”

According to Kubushi the Free State Provincial MEC’s were very impressed with the deciduous fruit industry and what Hortgro does for the producers and for arranging a site visit to Two-a-Day. “It was an eye opener to us and an educational journey,” he said.

Caption: Philip Toerien (Two-a-Day), Mariette Kotze (Hortgro), Attie van Zyl (Two-a-Day), Mangi Ramabenyani (Free State Department of Agriculture: Chief Director Farmer Support and Development), Free State MEC for Agriculture, Saki Mokoena, Chris Petzer (Two-a-Day), Pitso Sekoto (front) and Nhlanhla Gumede at the back (both from Remmoho).

Watch a video of the visit here.

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