Adapting to change within the markets

Had I written this 15 or more years ago, I would have bemoaned the attitude of market agents and said that the sooner they adapted to transformation, the better, otherwise change would be forced on them.

Adapting to change within the markets
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Today, transformation on markets and within market agencies is a reality. And, thank goodness, market agents have shed their old negativity and replaced it with a can-do resolve.

New leadership within the Institute of Market Agents of South Africa (Imasa) has redefined the organisation’s role.

An executive subcommittee now works closely with other industry role-players such as the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) to ensure sustainable and visible transformation. Government is keen to see black

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South Africans visibly engaged in key posts on the market floor, not only as shareholders and directors in a company. Many are already out there, but government wants to see even more – a closer reflection of the country’s demographics, in other words.
Industry initiatives such as APAC’s Mentorship Programme and DAFF’s Code of Best Practice all aim to achieve this.

Sinister implications
I’ve heard serious talk in the higher echelons of market management that, in future, a market agency’s licence to trade will be dependent on its BBBEE rating, among other requirements. And these licences will be renewable every five years.

If correct, this has sinister implications, too many to expand on here. But this is what I warned about all those years ago.

Market agents have an unfortunate past record that hangs albatross-like around their necks. But they have also seen the light and are adapting to meet the new challenges. A recent series of Imasa strategic planning workshops has given the organisation a fresh vision and impetus.

It is quite clear that under its new leadership, Imasa has shaken off the past and is determined to ‘seize the day’.

Digital editor for South Africa's oldest and most read farming magazine.