Cape agri hero off to France for cutting-edge agri-business training

One of the Western Cape’s award-winning agricultural employees will be travelling to France for cutting-edge agri-business training.

Jerome Thomas, who is a supervisor at the Kanonkop wine estate, was the 2014 winner of the Farm Worker of the Year Competition.

The trip was part of his prize.

Thomas departs on Sunday, 8 November, returning to South Africa on 22 November.

As part of the trip, Thomas will complete a training course offered by the CFPPA in Beaune. The course will focus  will on the following key areas:

  • Project management
  • Financial analysis
  • Government structures, which includes research programmes and government support to emerging farmers

The programme will include visits to different farms as well as exploring diversification on farms.

Thomas said he was looking forward to the visit. “I have never been overseas before so I am excited to see how they do business and also to be exposed to different cultures. I am particularly looking forward to visiting the vegetable and livestock farms. This is the field I would like to go into and I will see what lessons I can learn from how they operate.”

The winner of the 2015 Farm Worker of Year competition, co-sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer, will be announced on Saturday, 7 November.

“The new winner must remember to enjoy every moment. They should also keep in mind, it’s not just for a year, your entire life is about to change. Winning the competition gives you a new outlook on life and a sense of responsibility. But at all times, they must remember to be themselves and stay true to who they are.”

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, wished Thomas well ahead of his trip. “Jerome is a true ambassador for the Western Cape’s agriculture sector. He is gaining international experience and exposure and sharing in world best practice. Jerome will be bringing new knowledge back to South Africa to implement at home.”

Interviews with Thomas can be arranged.

The Farm Worker of the Year 2015 Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday, 7 November at 7pm on the Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl. Media are welcome to attend. Kindly RSVP for catering purposes.