Western Cape farmers who believe they are not adequately remunerated for the quality of wheat they produce are investigating establishing a distinctive brand or a separate price determination mechanism to improve prices.
The prices they get follow the trend for Argentinian wheat, which they believe is of an inferior quality to that produced in the Western Cape. They say their wheat is on par with the high-quality hard red spring cultivars of Australia, Canada and the US. ccording to Henk Aggenbach, a wheat farmer from Bredasdorp in the Southern Cape, wheat produced in this region is also often used to enhance the quality of imported wheat or wheat produced in other parts of the country.
He proposed the new brand be called Cape Hard Red Spring. Jannie de Villiers, executive director of the National Chamber of Milling, said the milling industry would welcome this investigation, but added it would first want to see the results of the investigation and formal proposals. rnold Brand, a Swartland wheat producer, warned that a branding system would be expensive to administer and would not necessarily lead to increased profits for farmers.
But Aggenbach said the branding does not have to be formal: “It could just mean the implementation of a new grading and pricing system that acknowledges the difference between winter and spring wheat.” By implementing this system, farmers will aim to break away from one where the millers have all the say, he said. “Instead of lowering the quality we want to maintain the high quality of our product, but create a mechanism that reflects the true market price of our product,” Aggenbach added. he US and Canada use dual grading and pricing systems for spring and winter cultivars. – Glenneis Erasmus