Market agent checklist for farmers

Some small-scale farmers have little knowledge of market dynamics, therefore it is important for both producers and market agents to understand their mutually dependent relationship, says Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) chairperson, Lizel Pretorius.

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“It is important that producers understand and enforce the basic rules of the game. Fresh produce agents must adhere to the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, 1992, (Act No. 12 of 1992), which provides the framework to ensure ethical trading,” she said.

“APAC cannot operate in isolation and needs those producers to be aware of the basic regulatory requirements to ensure it is enforced at all times and discrepancies are reported timeously to APAC,” she added.

This APAC checklist will help farmers to understand what they can expect from an agent:

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  • Do you have copies of your fresh produce agency’s fidelity fund certificate and registration certificate?
  • Do you receive at least weekly written reports on produce sold and the volume of unsold produce?
  • Do you receive payment within five working days after the fresh produce was sold (not per consignment)?
  • Does your agent sell your fresh produce on credit (an agent must obtain a farmer’s consent before selling on credit)?
  • Do you know the procedure to follow with regard to poor quality or rotten produce (photos and the inspector’s discard report need to be emailed to you)?
  • Do you check APAC’S website every month to determine whether the agency has any trust shortages, audit qualifications, or sanctions?
  • Did you enter into a service level agreement (SLA) with your agent that outlines the duties and expectations of both parties?

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