Hundreds expected to sign manifesto to ‘heal the land and people’

Registrations now open for historic first “Heal the Land. Heal the People” webinar

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Hundreds of South Africans will on Thursday sign a manifesto to commit to co-creating a country where the production, distribution and utilisation of food with integrity will heal the land and its people.

The “Heal the Land. Heal the People” initiative will be launched on World Sustainable Gastronomy Day, which raises awareness on the role cooking can play in contributing to sustainable development in support of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals.

The initiative is the brainchild of the Integra Trust, a special-purpose entity which was established to advance climate-smart sustainable and regenerative agriculture. It is led by a host of leading academics and farmers who believe that regenerative agriculture can not only restore broken food production systems, but also, ultimately, South Africa’s citizens. In addition to a long list of benefits for farmers and their crops, regenerative practices help fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.

Top speakers confirmed for webinar

More than 30 of the nation’s top academics, regenerative farmers and other experts will on Thursday also participate in a webinar to officially launch “Heal the Land. Heal the People”. All the discussions will be led by directors of the Integra Group, including animal scientists prof. Heinz Meissner and Gerry Weber, soil scientist Cobus Roode, agronomists Fritz Otto and Gavin Olson, economists prof. James Blignaut and Andrew Ardington, and Dr Pieter Prinsloo, a farmer and dentist.

Registration to the free webinar has just opened. Among the farmers and researchers who will join the event include Cocky Mokoka from Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng, Egon Zunckel from Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal, Charles Williams from Stellenbosch in the Western Cape and Bertie Coetzee from Prieska in the Northern Cape.

The impressive webinar line-up (see complete programme below) also boast talks by Dr Jaap Knott on Nepo mealie pap’s nutritional impact on South Africa’s staple food and society, whilst Khumo Magano will talk about the rehabilitation of mining areas. Integra has also managed to secure the participation of top chefs, retailers as well as restaurateurs, including chefs Christiaan Campbell and Errieda du Toit, and food activist Gary Jackson, the founder of Jackson’s Real Food Market.

Organisers say the “Heal the Land. Heal the People” manifesto will be signed digitally from early this week. In the manifesto, described as an initiative by “a likeminded value-driven community”, participants pledge to build a South Africa:

  • where the old planted trees under which their young can sit;
  • where the young would respect the old;
  • where the ancient social fibre and culture of our collective people has been renewed;
  • free from poverty, free from abuse, free from exploitation, free from malnutrition and hunger;
  • where the dignity of its people is preserved;
  • where the people are free to enjoy the fruit of their labour – produced by seeds, capital and labour from their own soil – of their own land;
  • where the economy is based on the principles of justice and prudent management, fair and equitable reward, with robust, transparent and honourable institutions;
  • which is a global leader in food security and the production of quality food for all its people; and
  • protecting and growing its rich social and natural heritage.
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Click here to register your attendance for the webinar.

Programme for “Heal the Land. Heal the People” webinar

Thursday, 18 June 2020 | Sustainable Gastronomy Day

08:00 – 08:02  Opening and welcome remarks

08:10 – 08:25  Introduction and pre-amble: Dr Pieter Prinsloo and Prof. James Blignaut

08:25 – 10:00 Session 1: Heal the land: Anchor: Dr Hendrik Smith

An introduction to regenerative agriculture: Dr Hendrik Smith, conservation agriculture facilitator, Grain SA & The Maize Trust

Regenerative and conservation agriculture: perspectives by farmers and researchers

  • Cocky Mokoka, Seekoeifontein 376, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng: Dryland and irrigation mixed crop-livestock farming
  • DF Fyver, Bhetjane Cattle Co, Vryburg, North West: Arid Kalahari region, diverse, extensive livestock and grazing systems
  • Bertie Coetzee, Lowerland, Prieska, Northern Cape: Arid, diverse annual and perennial cropping and livestock farming, irrigation from Orange River

Egon Zunckel farms in Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal.

  • Egon Zunckel, Zunckel Farms, Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal: Dryland and irrigation mixed crop-livestock farming
  • Temakholo Mathebula, Mahlathini Development Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal: Researcher, smallholder conservation agriculture
  • Charles Williams, De Toren Private Cellar, Stellenbosch, Western Cape: Wine and viticulture
  • Fred du Pont, The Fruit Farm Group in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape: Fruit farming
  • Dr Johann Strauss, senior researcher at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture: Conservation agriculture and grain farming

10:00 – 10:05 Upcoming programme highlights

Click here to register your attendance for the webinar.

10:05 – 11:00 Session 2: Heal the people: Anchor: Cobus Roode

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals through regenerative agriculture in SA: Siwapiwe Madubela, Tshepo Morokong
  • Can social impact of regenerative agriculture rekindle long-awaited dream of social cohesion?: Khumo Magano
  • Role of the 4IR in regenerative agriculture and e-commerce platforms to distribute food: Tshepo Morokong, Gerry Weber

Erna Kruger has a passion for integrating people, agriculture and nature. Photo: Supplied

  • Beyond mining: rehabilitation of mining areas, creating alternative industries, employment and distribution of food in rural, traditional and communal areas: Khumo Magano
  • Nepo Mealie Pap: A social/nutritional impact on SA’s staple food and society: Dr Jaap Knott
  • Covid-19, climate change resilience, regenerative agriculture in smallholder farming systems: Erna Kruger
  • Food clubs in society: Andrew Ardington
  • Sensible, sustainable land reform in SA with emerging, regenerative agriculture farmers: Khumo Magano

11:00 – 12:00 Session 3: Food with Integrity: Anchor: Dr Pieter Prinsloo

What does “Food with integrity” mean to you?  A focus on farm and soil management, processing and traceability

PANEL DISCUSSION: Chefs, retailers, and restaurants have unparalleled ability to facilitate connection and socialising between food value chain role-players. Innovative food systems beyond covid-19. Hyper-local items on restaurant menus to ensure local support of smaller farms. Sustainability, sensible and toned-down cooking.

  • Christiaan Campbell, chef and food consultant: Achieving synergy and communication between producer and consumer via food value chain?
  • Errieda du Toit, chef, food writer and culinary commentator: Perceptions. Difference between fast food and story food? Is it driven by social media?
  • Gary Jackson, real food retailer: Consumer needs: How do we create an open relationship from producer to consumer? How do we understand the value chain and the world’s broken food system?

Prof. Arno Hugo is a meat scientist at the University of the Free State. Picture: Supplied

  • Absie Pantswha, CEO of professional culinary experiences company Fresh Yumm: Food trends: What influences you in designing a menu for a food event?
  • Prof. Arno Hugo, meat scientist at UFS: Is traceability important and what should be communicated?
  • Andrea du Plessis, dietician: Are we producing/selling volume or nutrition? How do we make informed decisions about what we eat?
  • Steven Barnard, Farmer Kidz: Why is it important to connect children with food production?
  • Tozie Zokufa, A Greener World South Africa: Why is certification important in food production? 

12:00 – 12:15 Webinar break, reconnect at 12:15

12:15 – 12:40 Session 4: Money matters: Anchor: Prof. James Blignaut

12:15 – 12:20 Introduction: James Blignaut

Anika de Beer is a meteorologist with eNCA. Picture: Supplied

12:20 – 12:24 Anika de Beer: Meteorologist and eNCA co-presenter of the daily weather forecasts

12:24-12:30 Nic van Schalkwyk:  CA(SA) and CFA charter holder. Founding member and executive director of Integrity Asset Management.

12:30-12:40 Graham Terry: CA (SA) and a professor of practice, dept of accountancy, at the University of Johannesburg.

12:40 – 12:55 Part 5: Digital signing of the manifesto: Anchor: Prof. James Blignaut

12:55 – 13:00 Closing remarks and way forward  

Click here to register your attendance for the webinar.
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