By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:
The first regional winner in an initiative celebrating excellence in the Western Cape’s agricultural sector will be announced this week.
The first regional winner of the 2015 Farmworker Competition, co-sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, South Africa’s largest retail chain, will be announced at the Witzenberg regional ceremony. The ceremony will take place in the Koue Bokkeveld on 30 July 2015 at 6pm at the Kaleo Manor Guest Farm, Op-die-Berg outside Ceres.
This ceremony marks the start of a series of regional competitions which will take place across the province over the next few months and culminates in the Farmworker of the Year being selected in November.
The gala award function is scheduled for Friday evening 13 November at Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl.
As part of the selection process, entrants are interviewed by a panel of agricultural experts on a range of issues including transformation and their vision for the future of the sector. Winners will be chosen in 11 categories, including best irrigation specialist, agri-processing specialist and technical operator. The overall winner will be entered into the provincial competition which takes place in November. The top agri-professional receives a cash prize and an overseas trip.
Over 6000 agriculture employees have entered the competition since 2002. Minister Winde said the competition was aimed at honouring excellence in the sector and celebrating the important role agri-professionals play in driving the economy. “South Africa has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality produce, which is enjoyed both here at home and in overseas markets. The Western Cape’s agri-professionals are valuables players in ensuring we maintain this brand.”
“Previous winners have used this platform to make important connections in overseas markets; they are seen as role models and ambassadors for the sector, and I am looking forward to profiling their successes,” said Minister Winde.
Regional ceremonies in August:
|Overberg||05 August 2015||18:30 for 19:00||Bredasdorp|
|Klein Karoo||20 August 2015||18:00||Surval Boutique Olive Estate,
|Breede Valley||26 August 2015||16:00||Aan de Doorns Cellar|
|Hex Valley||27 August 2015||15:00 for 15:30||Hex Valley Ledesaal|
|Durbanville||28 August 2015||10:30||Durbanville Hills Winery|
Follow the competition on Twitter: #AgriHeroes2015
Picture: Jerome Thomas, who works at Kanonkop Estate, was the overall winner of last year’s competition. As part of his prize, Thomas will travel to France later this year to meet with agri-businesses in that country.