Impact of new minimum wage on apple and pear farmers
By Denene Erasmus

According to South Africa’s largest apple and pear supplier, Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the minimum wage increase for farm workers – from R69/day to R105/day – will see some farmers exiting the sector.

Tru-Cape managing director Charles Hughes said it’s imperative government understands exactly what the industry can afford in terms of wages to ensure long-term sustainability.

“Sadly there are farms that won’t survive the higher input costs, and the industry will see some either going bust or being absorbed by larger units,” said Hughes.
 
In addition, growers will be looking to reduce their work force through a complete analysis of their farms, which will include pulling out sub-economic orchards as a way of reducing costs.

Tru-Cape exports about 60% of its total volume and both local and export clients are concerned about the impact of labour protests on security of supply. And some buyers have already been investigating Chile, Argentina and New Zealand as possible replacement suppliers, said Hughes.

“We cannot afford political rhetoric calling for sanctions against the purchase of SA fruit,” he added. “This is irresponsible, as a change in the export demand will not only impact growers, and their staff, but also all the allied industries such as packaging, transport and shipping.

“It’ll be devastating to the SA fruit industry if we can’t continue to supply and, tragically, this will only create further job losses,” said Hughes.

We want to know more about you

Welcome to the farmer's weekly online community! Please tell us more about yourself so we can ensure we’re creating content that meets your needs. Click here to take the quick, anonymous Digital Industry Survey.

Comment
Be the first to comment on this article
You need to be logged in to comment on articles. If you don't have an account yet, click here to register.

Caxton Magazines encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of users published on farmersweekly.co.za are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Caxton Magazines.
FW CALENDAR
Previous MonthSeptember 2016Next Month
SMTWTFS
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930
This week's poll
Do you think there are equal opportunities for women & men in the South African agri sector?
No, a lot still needs to change
Yes, much progress has been made to empower women in agriculture
The playing field is slowly levelling out
Last week's poll
Have you received any aid or assistance for drought relief?
Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78%)
No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34%)
I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %) I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %)
© 2016 Farmer's Weekly Magazine
All Rights Reserved
Terms and conditions