Celebrations abound as Food For Mzansi hits a major milestone, marking five years at the forefront of South Africa’s agricultural scene. The publication’s focus on unity and inclusivity has earned accolades from industry leaders, who commend its role in breaking down barriers and showcasing diverse farming narratives.
Respected agriculturalist and former CEO of Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede, commended Food For Mzansi for its balanced reporting, as well as for promoting the interests of both commercial farmers, small-scale, and subsistence farmers.
“It is critical that we maintain that balance because the one cannot do without the other,” he said. “Food For Mzansi has played a tremendous role in terms of breaking down the racial barriers in agriculture and also ensuring that farmers who have never been part of the mainstream now become part of it.”
According to Van der Rheede, Food For Mzansi continues to play a crucial role in raising awareness about the significance of farming, its successes, and challenges. “I commend your efforts. Wishing the leadership and team continued success and growth.”
Champions of inclusivity and development
Leona Archary, CEO of the Agricultural Development Agency (Agda), praised the publication for successfully uniting farmers and agricultural businesses, encouraging necessary change and inclusivity.
“It promotes learning, innovation, and growth through shared insights, opportunities, and stories. Its impact on emerging farmers and agri-businesses resonates with its core purpose: fostering growth,” Archary pointed out.
She also acknowledged the publication’s role in fostering inclusivity and triggering development. “We are immensely grateful for our partnership and the contribution you are making to the sector.”
Meanwhile, Agbiz CEO Theo Boshoff highlighted that when thinking about Food For Mzansi, what comes to mind is a good platform to showcase the sector, especially to the youth and those not currently involved in it.
“It has helped to increase the reach of agriculture and shed light on the role it plays in South Africa and the opportunities it offers,” Boshoff said.
A different perspective
The recently appointed CEO of SA Olive, Wendy Petersen, commended the publication’s team for striving to represent agriculture in its full holistic form.
“But also focusing on new entrants, shining a light on successes in the various industries and addressing very sensitive and relevant subjects. But also looking at opportunities that agriculture could benefit from,” Petersen said.
Food For Mzansi, she said, has compelled industry stakeholders to view sector challenges through a different lens.
“They have forced us to look at the opportunities, possibilities, and solutions in terms of food security and mitigating risks.
“As farmers, one might be of the view that problem-solving should happen on the farm, but here you have a publication where people talk about problems or risks and open that up for everyone to access. Food For Mzansi has opened up the world of knowledge to everybody, even those who might be on the outskirts.”
Reaching forgotten communities
Liza Bohlmann, chairperson of Agricultural Writers SA, mentioned that through Food For Mzansi a whole new community is being reached with agricultural news and important information.
“It was a very forgotten and afterthought on many platforms and publications. Everyone half thought you were crazy to take it on. I think it is a great success and wonderful to witness,” she said.
Pointing to the history of agricultural publications in the country, they were mainly for educational reasons, Bohlmann said. The goal was to inform farmers and be the poor man’s agricultural college, and that role has never really changed.
Get your tickets for 5th birthday gala
Meanwhile, the countdown is underway for the eagerly anticipated fifth-anniversary gala dinner of Food For Mzansi, and readers are invited to an unforgettable evening of celebration, culinary excellence, and heartfelt tribute to the new faces of South African agriculture.
Scheduled for Wednesday, 6 December at Diep In Die Berg in Pretoria East, the black-tie affair includes a delectable three-course buffet. This culinary odyssey will honour the abundant produce and diverse flavours that define the nation’s agricultural landscape.
Reserve your place at Food For Mzansi’s gala dinner for just R750. Tickets are conveniently available for purchase on Quicket or at any Pick n Pay store, including PnP Clothing, PnP Liquor, and PnP Express.
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