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.
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.
Weather
FW CALENDAR
Previous MonthDecember 2014Next Month
SMTWTFS
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
SAFEX
This week's competition
Win a Carmate Pro!
This week's poll
Did the recent load shedding have an impact on activities on your farm?
Yes, severely
Yes, but I have alternative solutions like generators
Yes, but it was manageable
No, not at all
Last week's poll
Do you stick to the usual brand names when buying tractors?
Yes, because of the trusted name. (61.39%)
No, I buy tractors based on affordability. (38.61%)
Yes, because of the trusted name. (61.39 %) No, I buy tractors based on affordability. (38.61 %) Yes, because of the trusted name. (61.39 %) No, I buy tractors based on affordability. (38.61 %)
Caxton Magazines
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Developed by Digital Platforms
© 2014 Farmer's Weekly Magazine
All Rights Reserved
Terms and conditions
SERVING AGRICULTURE SINCE 1911