Fruit South Africa and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) have established the Fruit Industry Value Chain Round Table (FIVCRT) as a valuable platform that brings together government; parastatals; the fruit industry and civil society for fruitful engagement and speedy resolution of issues.

Constituting a dialogue process amongst industry stakeholders, the FIVCRT is aimed at fostering collaborative actions amongst stakeholders to help secure an enduring competitive advantage for the fruit sector. Its work is streamlined into five working groups focusing on employment and worker welfare; transformation; research and development; trade and market access, and resources and infrastructure.

The purpose of the Transformation Working Group (TWG), led by Mr Anton Rabe, is to facilitate, monitor, measure and report on the agreed transformation plan and targets, and where required, to collectively work towards unblocking constraints as they occur from time to time. This would ensure the entry and sustainable  participation of black South Africans (including the youth), in the fruit value chain. The TWG focuses on the economic development and growth dimensions of transformation required for a sustainable and profitable business to address ownership; enterprise and supplier development; management and control, and increasing the availability of black skilled human capital in the primary and secondary fruit industry.

The FIVCRT TWG published its first annual review in 2019, which summarised industry initiatives for 2017 and 2018. This latest document is an executive summary of the second report, which reflects the Fruit SA member associations’ transformation programmes and achievements for 2019. These industries represent producers and exporters of citrus fruit, pome (apples and pears) and stone fruits (plums, prunes, peaches, nectarines, and
apricots), subtropical fruits (avocados, litchis and mangoes) and table grapes.

Since the 2017-18 review, good progress has been made, including the adoption of the fruit industry transformation strategy. The strategy provides clarity and certainty about the industry’s approach to transformation, with key stepping stones to measure and track progress over time. It also represents a call to action by all stakeholders (including industry players, government and labour) to take active steps to contribute towards the fruit industry transformation process and to jointly unlock some of the constraints that have been identified at various levels. –