Ostrimark SA plans to restore Grahamstown to its position as one of the country’s leading ostrich industry hubs by establishing a leather processing factory in the town. The ostrich processing company has recently established a trade cooperation with a US investment promotion company, the African American Renaissance (AAR) Group, the Cacadu District Municipality, Makana Local Municipality and the Eastern Cape Development Cooperation.
“The new facility will be instrumental in revitalising the ostrich industry in the Grahamstown area, and will result in increasing the export potential of ostrich leather and also create employment opportunities for the region,” said Johan Schoeman, Ostrimark general manager. The trade cooperation is the product of an agreement signed by Ostrimark and the Cacadu District Municipality in a pledge to grow key sectors of the district’s economy.
Ostrimark will supply ostrich skins for the facility, and all manufactured goods will be exported to the US via the AAR group. “We have an existing global export market of which the US and Europe are the leading markets demanding our products. We have recently received further interest from Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia and Pakistan. Our cooperation with the AAR Group will help further reach these new markets,” said Schoeman.
As part of the trade cooperation, new developments are being spearheaded, which will see disadvantaged communities play an active role in the ostrich farms in the Cacadu district. Communities will receive intensive training on how to manage chicks and ostriches, and it is hoped that this will encourage the development of a number of empowerment ostrich farms. – Gwenda van Zyl