20 August 2021
Agbiz announces CEO designate
Following a rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process, Agbiz has the pleasure to announce that Theo Boshoff, currently head of legal intelligence within Agbiz, has been designated to take over the reins as CEO of Agbiz from 1 January 2022. The current incumbent, Dr John Purchase, retires at the end of December 2021 after more than 14 years of service to Agbiz,” Francois Strydom, chairman of Agbiz, said earlier this week. “South Africa currently faces serious challenges, also in its agro-food, agro-fibre and agro-beverage sectors, and as by far the leading business chamber for South African agribusinesses up and down these value chains, the leadership role of Agbiz is essential to ensure inclusive growth and the competitiveness of the broader sector. Theo Boshoff will be supported by an excellent team of high-quality professionals to continue rendering the requisite services to our membership and the country as a whole.” In the linked article, Ivor Price of Food for Mzansi talked to Theo about his appointment.
South Africans want land, not state ownership
When debating policy, it is prudent to consider the long-term implications of our policies and not focus on personal attacks, which are more of personal feelings rather than an effort to improve the standard of living of South Africans. Unfortunately, Floyd Shivambu of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), used the pages to advance a personal attack rather than advancing a coherent land policy. South Africa has serious challenges to deal with and cannot be consumed by personal insults. The ANC, since its inception, has advocated for land to be distributed to the people in whatever land holding the people choose. Also, as so eloquently summarised by Tembeka Ngcukaitobi in his latest book Land Matters, the ANC always favoured private property rights and only wanted to ensure that these rights to land are equitably redistributed. Read more in the linked article by the minister of justice and correctional services, Ronald Lamola, first published in Sunday Times.
It is not the criminal, it is the civil
.After a week during which both Jacob Zuma’s and Ace Magashule’s criminal trials were postponed again, many South Africans are wondering when they will see people in orange overalls. That is fair. But while the wheels of criminal justice turn slowly, it doesn’t mean there are no consequences for wrongdoing. Civil proceedings have already had quite an impact. The criminal-civil distinction is important. Criminal cases must be proved ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’. That is much
more stringent than the ‘balance of probabilities’ required in a civil case. As the veteran prosecutor Gerrie Nel once put it, ‘Knowing something has happened is a long way from being able to prove it in court.’ South Africans have a good idea of what has happened thanks to the evidence before the Zondo Commission and some really good investigative journalists. Proving all that beyond all reasonable doubt is a very different story. Political and trends analyst JP Landman shares his perspectives in the linked article.
South Africa’s consumer food price inflation to moderate in second half of 2021
Although July 2021 consumer food price inflation of 7% y/y is unchanged from the previous month, there are clear signs in the underlying details that pressures are beginning to moderate. We are seeing a similar trend in the global market. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s Global Food Price Index has slowed for the second consecutive month in July. After all, the acceleration in South Africa’s consumer food price inflation from late 2020 and in the first half of 2021 was not necessarily driven by domestic factors, but mostly unfavourable spillover effects from the global market. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article.
What do 2021/22 global wheat production dynamics mean for South Africa? 
While South Africa is traditionally a net exporter of agricultural products, wheat is the second most valuable imported food product after rice. In 2020, South Africa's wheat imports were valued at US$493 million, which equates to 8% of the overall agricultural import value of US$5,9 billion that year. In the first half of this year, wheat hasn't moved from its second place as a valuable imported agricultural into South Africa. Over the past decade, imports accounted for an average of 53% of South Africa's annual wheat consumption of 3,2 million tonnes. As a result of this dependency on the global market, we pay close attention to primary producers, who serve as South African suppliers. These include the Black Sea countries, Canada, Australia, the US, and the EU. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this subject in the linked article, written for and first published on News24.
Agbiz participates in Bayer media briefing
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo was a guest speaker at the Bayer A-Maize-ing Harvests Media Briefing where he gave an overview of the grains harvest, highlighting the maize production performance and its contribution to economic growth. Please click here to watch a recording of the Bayer media briefing.
Shipping bottlenecks set to prolong supply chain turmoil
Harbour Customs
The closure of a terminal at the world’s third-busiest container port is only the latest sign that turmoil in ocean shipping could run into next year, posing a threat to global economic growth as chronic delays and soaring transport costs may leave demand unmet and push up consumer prices. A coronavirus outbreak led to a partial shutdown at Ningbo-Zhoushan port last week and the resulting suspension of inbound and outbound container ships reduced the port’s capacity by a fifth. It follows another Chinese outbreak in May, which led to a three-week-long closure of the Yantian terminal in Shenzhen and created knock-on effects in international shipping. A relentless surge in shipping prices and persistent bottlenecks at ports around the world have added to the barrage of problems affecting supply chains. These include the semiconductor crunch and the rising price of raw materials, to truck driver shortages as retailers stock up ahead of the peak shopping season. Read more in the linked article, first published in Financial Times.

Zambia produced its largest corn crop on record in 2021/22 MY
Zambia produced its largest corn crop on record in the 2021/22 MY. This bumper corn crop of 3.6 million tons follows Zambia’s third-largest corn crop of 3.4 million tons produced in the 2020/21 MY. As a result, Zambia will have 1.5 million tons of surplus corn available for exports in the 2021/22 MY. However, the regional demand for corn is weaker than usual as most countries in Southern Africa produced above-average crops in 2021 on favorable weather conditions. As a result, Post estimates that Zambia’s corn exports will be limited to about 700,000 tons and consequently stock levels at the end of the 2021/22 MY will increase by 57 percent to 1.3 million tons. Please click here to read the USDA report.
Invitation to apply for PhD bursary in agricultural economics for 2022
The Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) established the BD Nomvete Bursary Trust Fund with the aim to provide financial support for students to complete a PhD programme in Agricultural Economics or an approved related discipline. The Trust will allocate a bursary to a successful PhD applicant for the 2022 academic year. The bursary amount is R50 000 per annum per student over two years, with a maximum of three years. Eligible candidates are students registered or admitted to study for a PhD in Agricultural Economics or an approved related discipline at an accredited university in South Africa on a full-time basis. Priority will be given to those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds (particularly women). Please click here for more information.
Register for the Eastern Cape Agriculture Indaba on 20 August
The Eastern Cape Agriculture Indaba, to be hosted by Nascence Advisory in partnership with the FM and Transnet on 20 August, follows the successful agriculture online summit held in June 2020.
Speakers include:
  • Thoko Didiza: minister of agriculture, land reform, and rural development;
  • Portia Derby: Transnet CEO;
  • Wandile Sihlobo: chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA;
  • Aron Kole: FarmSol Holdings MD;
  • Mokete Tshiame: SA Grain Farmers Association; and
  • Sylvester Mpandeli: Water Research Commission.
The indaba is part of a series of economic reconstruction dialogues designed to contribute to improving engagement between the public, official government sector, investors, local business and other partners in driving economic recovery. Please click here for more information and to register.

Invitation to virtual discussion on the future of remote working
Office buildings are standing empty as businesses were forced to adapt to the 'new normal' during the Covid-19 pandemic. So, will this be the working world of the future, and what factors should employers consider when having to manage a remote workforce? Are contact sessions still important, and if so, why? What are the challenges and opportunities in this new normal?
Join CNBC Africa and Nedbank Business Banking on 23 August at 14:00 to unpack the crucial topic; "Disruption - The Future of Remote Working". We'll look at alternative techniques for different industries, ensuring that employees have the tools they need to perform required tasks remotely. Please click here for more information and to register.

Invitation to attend AFMA's 74th AGM
AFMA will be hosting its 74th AGM on 4 September 2021. The speakers during the open session include Justice Malala, leading South African political analyst for a political overview, Wandile Sihlobo, Agibz chief economist for an economic overview and Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase who will discuss the Agriculture and Agro-processing Masterplan (AAMP) as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). For more information and to register, please follow this link.
Reducing food losses and waste
Food systems cannot be resilient to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic if they are not sustainable. An affordable and healthy food offering for consumers is central to achieving this goal. Agbiz member Valuechainsolutions has published a three-part series featuring the virtuous cycle approach, which supports this goal fully by:
Part 1:
Ensuring a traceable value chain from farm to fork through value chain visualisation.
Part 2:
Reducing food losses and waste by identifying and eliminating waste.
Part 3:
Bringing it all together using the virtuous cycle to drive affordable food via sustainable food production, distribution and consumption. Please click here to peruse.
Komati Group vaccinates 696 staff members
Get the latest news from Beefmaster
Headline News from Beefmaster contains all the recent news and developments from Beefmaster and the feedlot industry. Please click here for the latest edition
Weekly newsletter from CGA
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern African, shares the latest news in the citrus industry in his weekly update - From the desk of the CEO. Please click here to peruse.
The latest news from the pork industry
Read more about the latest developments and news in the pork industry in the South African Pork Producers' Organisation's (SAPPO) newsletter, SAPPO Weekly Update.
Sustainability Summit 2021
21-23 September 2021 | Virtual

2021 AFMA Symposium
18-19 October 2021
Enquiries: events@afma.co.za 

Intra-African Trade Fair 2021
15-21 November 2021 | Durban

Agbiz Congress 2022
22-24 June 2022 | Sun City
Why join Agbiz?
  • Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
  • Agbiz addresses the legislative and policy environment on the many fronts that it impacts on the agribusiness environment.
  • Agbiz facilitates considerable top-level networking opportunities so that South African agribusinesses can play an active and creative role within the local and international organised business environment.
  • Agbiz research provides sector-specific information for informed decision-making.
  • Agbiz newsletter publishes members' press releases and member product announcements.
The Agbiz Newsletter may contain a few links to websites that belong to third parties unrelated to us. By making these links available, we are not endorsing third-party websites, their content, products, services or their events. Agbiz seeks to protect the integrity of its newsletter and links used in it, and therefore welcomes any feedback.