Dutch Food Sector Set to Help Grow Western Cape Agro-processing
The Western Cape Government is set to collaborate with the Dutch agricultural industry to grow the local agro-processing sector and increase the province's market share in Europe.
Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, said this partnership was one of the links forged during his official trade and investment mission to The Hague in the Netherlands last week.
Minister Winde met with member companies of the Netherlands Agro Food and Technology Centre to increase collaboration between the Dutch and Western Cape agricultural sectors. In 2011 Western Cape food exports to the Netherlands were worth R140 million.
Through their Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands is focusing on increasing imports from developing countries, of which South Africa is one, to Western Europe.
"The Netherlands Agro Food and Technology Centre is opening an office in Cape Town later this year. They want to explore synergies in agriculture and look at how they can help grow our new agricultural economy, agro-processing. This is an area of our economy with major opportunity for growth and job creation. In addition, we want to work together to increase exports from the Western Cape to the Netherlands. The Port of Rotterdam is a major gateway to the rest of Europe and by collaborating more closely with the Netherlands, we can achieve greater EU market share," said Minister Winde.
Minister Winde said that agro-processing, including wine, was one of the Western Cape's biggest growth sectors. It currently contributes R12 billion toward the province's Gross Domestic Product.
Minister Winde will be meeting with Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, to discuss the proposals.