11 August 2017

Business meeting The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission has initiated investigations against specific entities for possible violation of the B-BBEE Act relating to the B-BBEE ownership structures and non-compliance with the Codes of Good Practice in respect of the verification process. All entities were notified, and if there are adverse findings against them, they will be given 30 days to respond to the adverse findings before the B-BBEE Commission makes the findings final.  The B-BBEE Commission is allowed to initiate an investigation on its own initiative and this often happens as a result of a tip off. If found to have violated the B-BBEE Act, the entities may be referred for prosecution and exposed to a fine of up to 10% of the entity's annual turnover and the individuals involved can be fined or imprisoned for up to 10 years. The entities can also be excluded from doing business with government for a period of up to 10 years, and the contracts they have with any state owned entity or government department can be cancelled. Agribusinesses are advised to peruse and heed the implied warning in the media statement of the B-BBEE Commission.
Draft Intellectual Property Policy, phase 1 released for public comment

On Tuesday, 8 August, the Department of Trade and Industry released phase 1 of the draft Intellectual Property Policy for public comment. Interested and affected parties are afforded until 9 October to consider the document and submit comments. The draft policy seeks to facilitate the National Development Plan's goal of migrating South Africa from a resource-intensive economy to a knowledge economy .   Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence provides more information in the linked article»
SA tractor sales saw a notable uptick in July 2017

The good performance in the domestic currency in June and early part of July, coupled with expected large domestic grain and oilseed harvest boosted the tractor sales in July 2017. The sales were recorded at 502 units - up by 5% from June 2017 and 11% higher than the corresponding period last year. Although grain prices are under pressure, the higher yields per hectare have, to some extent, boosted farmers' incomes.   Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the linked update»
40 000 job cuts recorded in SA agriculture in Q2, 2017

After cutting 44 000 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, South Africa's agricultural sector saw a further 40 000 jobs lost in the second quarter - putting the total labour force at 835 000 jobs. However, it is worth noting that this is in line with the season's trend due to reduced horticultural activity in the second quarter. Taking a closer look at the provincial decomposition, it is clear that most job losses occurred in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces where the bulk of labour intensive crops are grown. Meanwhile, other provinces saw slight job gains.   Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the linked update»

Monsanto recently launched the "imbewu" Empowerment Programme aimed at contributing to inclusive growth in South Africa by empowering local communities with smart solutions to improve their lives and develop a sustainable agricultural platform. "Imbewu means seed in Zulu, and that is what we are doing. We're seeding growth, we're seeding successful business leaders, and we're seeding potential in people; the potential to become and do better. That's our greatest investment" says Parusha Pillay, Monsanto SA's B-BBEE Transformation Manager  - Media release»
Sharing a vision of sustainability

Monsanto SA demonstrated their continuous commitment towards Buhle Farmers' Academy by making more land available for production. Parusha Pillay,  Monsanto SA's B-BBEE Transformation Manager said,  "When we make investments of this nature, we envision the long-term sustainability of the project. We can see the successes of the farmers that graduate from Buhle as well as the academy itself and they stand as a testament to Monsanto's investments." - Media release»
Standard Bank announces 2017 Top Women Awards finalists

For a decade and a half, South Africa's premier gender parity platform, Standard Bank Top Women, has awarded outstanding women leaders and gender-strong companies across a host of market sectors.   The award ceremony will be taking place at Emperors Palace on 17 August 2017. Finalists tor the Top Women in Agriculture Award are J eanet Rikhotso - Middledrift Dairy;  Lesego Serolong -Bokamoso Impact Investment;  Nobutembu Pako - Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency;  Sarah Melane - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and  Wiana Louw - The Southern African Grain Laboratory.    View the full roster of Standard Bank Top Women Awards finalists  here»
Being a member of Agbiz provides various benefits and opportunities

- 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.

Please visit the Agbiz website for more information.
MASDT wins prestigious award 

At the NSTF-South32 Awards ceremony held in June, Mobile Agri Skills Development and Training (MASDT) won the award for the best non-governmental institution, including for technology transfer, education and training in their services.  The NSTF-South32 Awards recognise, celebrate and reward excellence in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in SA.  MASDT's incubation process helps emerging farmers to generate agricultural produce on a small-scale commercial basis. It includes training, helping farmers gain access to productive land and equipment, and assisting with cost-effective purchasing -  MASDT Newsletter
PMI B-BBEE Breakfast
15 August 2017 | Bloemfontein
More information

Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Symposium
23 August 2017 | CSIR, Pretoria
Enquiries: candice@fertasa.co.za

Agro-processing Investment & Technology Summit
29-31 August 2017 | Premier Hotel | OR Tambo International Airport | Johannesburg 
Skills Development Summit
31 Aug - 1 September 2017 | CSIR | Pretoria

South African Association for Food Science & Technology (SAAFoST) 22nd Biennial International Congress and Exhibition 
3-6 September 2017 | Century City Convention Centre | Cape Town

SA Innovation Summit
6-8 September 2017 | Cape Town

Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) 55th Annual Conference
19-21 September 2017 | Elangeni Hotel | Durban
More information

MPO National Congress
20 September 2017 | Protea Hotel King George | George
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za

Potatoes SA Congress
28 September 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg

Agbiz information session for agribusinesses
5 October 2017 | Western Cape
More information will follow soon

East and Southern Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference 2017
9-11 October 2017 | Maputo | Mozambique
More information

AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop & Expo
20-21 October 2017 |  East London Show Grounds
More information:  info@atoneworks.co.za

13th SIAMAP International Show
31 October to 5 November 2017 | Tunisia

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3-6 December 2017 | CTICC | Cape Town
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
More information
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