Western Cape Market Access Programme supports AgriBusinesses
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited Marice Mercuur, winner of the Ministerial Special Award for Youth at the 2019 Western Cape Female Entrepreneur Awards Competition.
What started for Mercuur as a quest to find a remedy to treat her daughter's severe eczema has resulted in her business, Marice Mercuur Pty (Ltd).
Today, she manufactures and supplies health and beauty products.
Mercuur: “I started experimenting with glycerine soap and rooibos tea. I was amazed by the results as the rooibos soap immediately improved my daughter's skin. She looked better and soon my entire family started using the rooibos infused soap."
Encouraged by friends and family, Mercuur continued experimenting with rooibos.
She has since expanded her product range to lip-balm, skincare products, cold process soap as well as body butter - all with rooibos as the critical ingredient.
Every item produced by Mercuur is carefully and meticulously made by hand, in her private studio at home.
She quickly found herself supplying her products to curio shops and guesthouses along the West Coast.
Winning the Ministerial Special Award for Youth at the 2019 Western Cape Female Entrepreneur Awards Competition has given her business the impetus it needed.
Mercuur: "This was my big break. With the prize money, I was able to invest and grow my business. I was able to increase my product range. Further support from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has enabled me to purchase the necessary equipment to increase my production capability. Growing the market for my products is now my next step."
Minister Meyer highlights market access as one of his priorities.
Minister Meyer: "We have to create an enabling environment for agribusinesses to progress. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Programme supports entrepreneurs, such as Marice, with services which focuses on market readiness and compliance, market access, product promotions and agribusiness development support.”
“If we can grow our export market by 5% over the next five years, we will be able to create an additional 19 000 jobs. Jobs brings dignity and wellness to the people of the Western Cape,” concludes Meyer.