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Nation in Conversation goes to Ceres to unravel the Fruit Industry

  • 07 February 2017
  • 1905
  •  Nation in Conversation
  •  nasieingesprek

The third episode of the Nation in Conversation series in 2017 aimed the spotlight on the South African fruit industry when the team set up its cameras in Ceres and surrounds. The fruit industry has a massive impact on the economy and well-being of communities where it operates and it has a huge impact on the national economy as a whole.

The show pays a visit to the Du Toit Group and De Keur farms that are big role players in the industry and finds out what is involved to get the fruit from the farm to the table. Danell du Toit, MD of the De Keur Group talks about the role of labour in their business. “We believe that people are one of our biggest assets and that we can only produce a good product if our workers are well-trained.”

As usual, Landbouweekblad Editor in Chief, Chris Burgess, joins the show host Rozanne McKenzie with some enlightening statistics about the industry, starting off by saying that South African fruit is “among the very best in the world.” Chris says the industry generates about R22bn worth of revenue and has a definite impact on the economy. “We need some government assistance to enter new markets though, as our main competitors like Australia and South America are making inroads into new markets like China.” Chris says it’s interesting that the rest of Africa is also becoming a market not to be ignored.

Marina Potgieter, MD of De Keur Packaging takes us through the process of packaging and why it’s important in delivering a premium product to the end user. “We have state of the art machinery that even makes selections based on the colour of the fruit.”

Chris will have you glued to the screen when he talks about the challenges faced by the “very prescriptive” European market and the importance of “maximum residue levels.”

Mpumelelo Mkhabela gets serious once again in the discussion section of the show when he engages with Dr Roelof Botha, Economic Advisor for PWC who says: “People will actually get a fright when they realise the total impact which agriculture has on the total economy. People forget that the value chain begins before planting and includes logistics, insurance and a myriad of aspects which in the end represents almost 23% of the economy.”

Nation in Conversation is proudly sponsored by Monsanto, Nedbank and Senwes, in association with AFGRI, Hinterland and NWK.

If you missed these episodes, you can view it online:

Business Day TV:

Soweto TV:

Download the Nation in Conversation App from the app store and visit the website at for full details of the broadcast schedule. 

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