What started out as a seedling venture has now blossomed into a fruitful business. While still being in the last month of winter, the orange farmer producers in the Eastern Cape have got South Africa covered. This is a story of how a partnership between Co-op and Entabeni made everything possible.
The orange farmers of the Eastern Cape know the advantages of their product. Not only does growth in orange farming contribute towards employment, it also has many positive effects on the human body. It boosts the immune system and contains a large amount of vitamin C, which is said to help prevent cancer by combating free radicals.
Before the year 2014, Entabeni in Patensie was operating at a loss, but with help from Co-op, they managed to transform it into a profitable business after the first year. The partnership then also led them to being awarded the Top Producer of oranges in the Eastern Cape and win 4th place for the Best Soft Citrus Producer.
To climb the "tree" of success, Co-op implemented many strategies including having provided farmers with various skills such as project management and technical training. Skilful staff are also employed, some of which are irrigation technicians and agriculture economists, which are available for use by farmers so they can improve the manufacturing capacity of the company. The Co-op also manages the administration, applications and credit control of additional funds that are accessible from the Land Bank and the South African Government to up and coming black farmers.
Co-Op Entabeni was awarded top orange farmer producer in Eastern Cape because of their hard work, dedication and patience. They are now able to plant more orchards and gain brand new farming equipment from their own hard earned profits.
Co-Op Entabeni will continue to "boost" the Eastern Cape and its economy with its zesty fruit, through continued growth of their business with their new systems in place. The company is appreciative of their strong relationship with their members and partners. Their goal is to take the Eastern Cape by storm and become the leading agricultural business throughout Africa, enabling the expansion of local Eastern Cape communities.
Co-Op Entabeni is a shining example of what can be achieved in the agricultural sector when the right parties come together and empower local communities through the implementation of proven knowledge and agricultural systems, helping improve the local and national economy.