Launch of the 2014 Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition
The 2014 Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition was recently launched on the farm La Provence, outside Stellenbosch. The Competition, with an annual budget of R1.5 million, is unique in South Africa and one of the flagship events of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
The Competition gives recognition to the important role farm workers play in South Africa and highlights the various career opportunities available in the agricultural sector. This year will see more than 1 000 entrants from 16 regions compete in categories such as General Worker; Tractor Driver; Social Development; Administrative Staff, and two Farm Management categories. The overall winner will receive a total prize of R100 000 during a gala event in November 2014.
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gerrit van Rensburg, said farm workers are the most important contributors to the economy and food security in the Western Cape’s economy. South African leaders who frequently attack the agricultural sector, should take a moment to reflect on what life in South Africa would be like if there was no food available. He thanked the agricultural community for supporting the competition.
Johan van Deventer, the General Manager of Freshmark, Shoprite Checkers’ fresh produce procurement arm, attended the launch as the representative of the main private sector sponsor. He said the importance of farm workers is evident when you walk through any Shoprite store in South Africa, as it is fresh and processed food products which are dominating the shelf space.
The first regional winner will be announced on 24 July 2014 in the Witzenberg region, which includes the towns of Ceres, Tulbagh, Wolseley, Prince Alfred Hamlet, and Op-die -Berg.