14 September 2018
At the Annual Conference of the Institute of Market Agents South Africa (IMASA) held in East London on 13 September, Agbiz was honoured to receive the coveted Shiny Red Apple Award for 2018/19. The floating trophy is awarded annually to organisations and individuals  in recognition of their leadership and innovation in customer relations and communication within the fresh produce sector. "Agbiz is deeply humbled and wishes to thank Attie Horn, Michael Cordes and the members of IMASA for the recognition," says Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO.
Following the release of the Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index by Wandile Sihlobo on Monday, the Agbiz team was high in demand for media interviews to elaborate on the issue. The press release featured in all the major newspaper including  Business Day, Pretoria News, The Mercury, The Star, The Citizen, Beeld, Cape Times, Die Burger en Volksblad.  The broadcast media that requested interviews included Business Day TV, eNCA , Power FM , SAFM , SABC News , RSG Geldsake and SAFM.  Please  click here t o listen to an extensive interview with Wandile Sihlobo on Power FM. Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO, spoke to Andries van Zyl of RSG Geldsake. Click here to listen to the interview in Afrikaans.
After being sustained at levels above 50-point mark in the past two quarters, the Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index declined by 6 points to 48 in the third quarter of 2018. This is the lowest level since the second quarter of 2016, which was a drought year. With the results now below the neutral 50-point mark, this essentially means that the agribusinesses are somewhat downbeat about business conditions in South Africa. The survey was conducted in August 2018 and comprised agribusinesses operating in all agricultural subsectors across South Africa.  Read the full article by Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research or watch  an interview with SABC News, where Wandile Sihlobo discussed this issue.
Following a solid positive growth over the past five months, South African tractor sales fell by 18% y/y last month, with 487 units sold. This decline, which far exceeds our expectations of a 5% y/y drop, was partially underpinned by delayed summer grain harvesting activity which partially strained farmers' cash flows. The harvest process, however, did not inspire a notable uptick in combine harvester sales either as the data shows a 25% y/y decline, with nine units sold. This could be explained by the fact that the 2017/18 crop is well below the record levels seen in the previous production season. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the  linked article.

After showing solid recovery from drought in the previous and current marketing seasons with above-average maize and soybean production, the debate on climate-related challenges could resurface as the opening of the summer crop planting window fast-approaches in the next two to three weeks. Click here to read Wandile Sihlobo's article written for and first published in Business Day .
The National Skills Authority (NSA) invites skills development stakeholders and the general public to attend public hearings on the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) and proposed SETA landscape. Click here for Gazette No. 41856 and a copy of an invitation to attend public hearings on the SETA landscape post March 2020 which should be of interest to both agriculture and food manufacturing alike. It is proposed that AgriSETA will be merged with FoodBev SETA. Initial reaction from the food and beverage industry is that this will not work.  The deadline for comment is tight - 21 days from 22 August. It would appear that Department of Higher Education and Training wants comments before public hearings and further consultation which is planned for 25 to 28 September 2018.
The recovery of the financial position of the NWK group was achieved sooner than was initially foreseen. Divestment from loss-making operations was completed and all investments in other countries in Africa were discontinued. With a renewed focus on core operations, the group is positive about creating value for its shareholders and customers once more. Press release
Busines Unity South Africa (BUSA) also presented to the Constitutional Review Committee on the amendment to section 25 of the Constitution on 7 September. Please click here to peruse their presentation.

Roosterkoek, craft beer, skaapstertjies, Wagyu burgers, wine and ice cream . . . all these delicacies and more await visitors to the "Groot Plaasproe" from Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 October 2018 on the farm Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. This farm festival was so popular last year that this year's festival lasts a full three days. A ticket to the festival with more than 150 stalls offers a tasting experience of all things farm. Not only can one enjoy a variety of farm food; festival goers can get up close with more than 300 farm animals and win prizes with their braai and dance skills. Press release
The African Livestock Trade Fair (ALFA) is built around a number of priority projects and during this year's expo, which will take place from 18 to 20 September at the Afridome in Parys, these priority projects will be showcased as part of several special events, competitions, workshops and awards. 
Press release.
Click here  for the September newsletter of Potatoes SA.
Following the success of the previous Agbiz Information Sessions, two half-day information sessions for members and other role players are planned for 1 November in Pretoria and 15 November in Paarl. The sessions will focus on current challenges in the policy and legislation environment, as well as developments and opportunities in the agribusiness sector. Please save the dates; more information on registration and the programme will follow.

PMA Webinar
Join the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) webinar on 25 September for a deeper dive into blockchain. Could blockchain really be all that for our industry? Join PMA for a free webinar as we discuss how blockchain is being explored today by retailers, grower-shippers and tech companies. PMA's Ed Treacy will be joined by other industry thought leaders to explain blockchain, how it could address today's supply chain issues and how you can get started. Registration is free; advance registration is required.

AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop and Expo
20-21 September 2018  East London Show Grounds
Contact info: 011 056 6856

Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
24-26 September  | Cape Town
More information

56th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA)
25-27 September 2018 | Lord Charles Hotel | Somerset West
Media release

Urban Agri Africa 2018 Summit
25-26 September 2018 | Sunnyside Park Hotel | Parktown
More information

2018 IRMSA Annual Conference
3-4 October 2018  | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand
Keynote speaker: Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises

Second African Congress on Conservation Agriculture
9-12 October 2018 | Johannesburg

Science Forum 2018
Theme: Win more, lose less: Capturing synergies between SDGs through agricultural research
10-12 October 2018 | Stellenbosch

Second International Conference for Food Safety and Security
St George's Hotel, Pretoria
15-17 October 2018 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

Government Supply Chain Management Challenges, Latest Trends and Effective Strategies to Improve Operational Success
24-26 October 2018   |  Holiday Inn Hotel |  Pretoria
Energy Food Water Nexus for South Africa
31 October-1 November 2018 | Johannesburg

First Bi-annual International Soy for Human Health Conference 2019
11-13 March 2019 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

CGA Citrus Summit  
1 2-14 March 2019 | Boardwalk Hotel | Port Elizabeth

Skills Development Summit
12-13 March 2019   | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria
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.
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