The Western Cape Government welcomes “lifeline” for cannery
Media release: The Western Cape Government welcomes “lifeline” for Langeberg & Ashton Foods plant.
The Western Cape Government welcomes the extension of operations at Tiger Brands’ Langeberg & Ashton Foods (L&AF) plant.
Tiger Brands said it had engaged with affected employees, organised labour, and other stakeholders, and they have agreed to a compact that will allow the company to extend operations at the factory for another season. Tiger Brands added the extension of operations allows for a possible transaction that may result in a long-term, sustainable solution for its deciduous fruit processing business.
“The flexibility, open-mindedness, and good faith shown by all parties in reaching this compact will allow for the rigorous exploration of any new proposals in respect of the company’s deciduous fruit processing operations while securing the jobs of 250 permanent employees and 4 300 seasonal workers directly employed by L&AF for a further season,” said Noel Doyle, Tiger Brands Chief Executive Officer.
Earlier today Provincial Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer met with Agri-Western Cape representatives, producers, and the Canning Fruit Producers Association.
Minister Meyer said: ‘We agreed that our priority was to protect the rural economy and jobs in the Langeberg and Ashton areas. Therefore, the announcement that the factory will be kept open for another season is good news as it allows for more time to secure a suitable investor.”
He added: “However, now that Tiger Brands and its key partners have reached an agreement that allows for the extension of operations to the forthcoming season, parties should focus their energies on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the factory and jobs.”
The Minister gave the assurance the Western Cape Department of Agriculture will continue to support the industry in its endeavour to identify an investor who shares the vision of building a vibrant agro-processing sector in the province.
On this positive development, Provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger said: “I am ecstatic that Tiger Brands will extend operations at Langeberg & Ashton Foods for another season. This is reason to celebrate, especially for the thousands of Western Cape residents who are employed through their operations.”
The Minister emphasised: “This announcement demonstrates clearly the power of partnership and collaboration, and I thank all stakeholders for their efforts to find a solution in the best interests of all involved.”