Deciduous fruit industry honours top achievers

The deciduous fruit industry recently honoured seven top achievers who have contributed significantly to the success of the industry.

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The winners at this year’s Deciduous Fruit Gala Event. From left: Charmaine Scholtz, Specialist Agricultural Worker of the Year; Irene Jansen, General Agricultural Worker of the Year; Earl Loxton, New Entrant of the Year; Jack van Dyk, OSH Reinecke Industry Leader of the Year; Engela Duvenage, recipient of the Izethelo Media Award; and Sivuyile Maguga Solitswayi, General Agricultural Worker of the Year. Dr Piet Stassen, Innovator of the Year, could not attend the event. (Photo supplied by Hortgro).

Jack van Dyk, one of the founding members of the Cape Agri Employers’ Organisation, scooped the OSH Reinecke Industry Leader Award at the 41st annual Deciduous Fruit Gala Event in Somerset West for his work in labour law in the fruit industry.

Raisin and wine grapes producer Earl Loxton of the Eksteenskuil community near Keimoes won the award for new entrant to the fruit industry.

The Innovator of the Year Award went to Dr Piet Stassen for his game-changing research on deciduous fruit over the past 45 years.

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The Specialist Farm Worker of the Year was Charmaine Scholtz from the farm Remhoogte in Grabouw. A qualified teacher, Scholtz decided to throw her energy into agriculture. Today she is the junior human resources manager on the farm.

Engela Duvenage received the Izethelo award for continuous coverage of the fruit industry and making the agri-science more accessible to the general public.

This year the judges decided to give the General Agricultural Worker of the Year Award to two worthy recipients: Sivuyile Maguga Solitswayi from the farm Bronaar in the Koue Bokkeveld and Irene Jansen from Wilhelm de Kock Boerdery near Worcester.