Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA)’s Mintirho Foundation, inaugurated an innovative and far-reaching partnership with the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) at a function at Tonga in the Nkomazi Municipality in Mpumalanga on Thursday, 02 May 2019. The partnership will see the Mintirho Foundation providing two interest-free loans to help SAFDA develop its own fertiliser and deliver it to growers at the right time.
If fertiliser is applied to the sugar-cane sprouts (or ratoons) early on, the cane will have a much higher sugar content at harvest and will thus command higher prices from sugar mills. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform recently committed R133 million to SAFDA’s fertiliser programme. The programme will benefit 11 650 emerging farmers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, a total of 35 000 hectares of sugar cane.
The loans will also be used to fund SAFDA’s efforts to provide logistical assistance to emerging farmers to help them get their cane to the mill at harvest time.
“This is a very strategic project for us because, for the first time, it provides CCBSA, as a major user of sugar, with direct access to emerging growers. In turn, we will be able to monitor our use of sugar produced by these growers, thus enabling us to achieve our key objective of transforming our supply chain in order to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s development and job-creation agenda,” says Noxolo Kahlana Mintirho Foundation.
CCBSA announced last year that it would be diverting R1.3 billion of procurement spend to companies owned by blacks and black women over three years. In March, it said that it had exceeded its first-year target by R200 million.
“The loans from CCBSA’s Mintirho Foundation are allowing our farmers to maximise their margins by delivering cane with a high sugar content to the mills at the right time. We therefore see them as key enablers in the delivery—and sustainability—of this multi-million-rand ratoon management programme,” says Dr Siyabonga Madlala, Executive Chairman, SAFDA.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is a proudly South African company which began operating as a legal entity in July 2016, after the merger of six non-alcoholic ready to drink bottling operations. We employ over 7000 people at 13 manufacturing facilities across the country.
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