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Health And Welfare

How a Piket-Bo-Berg farmer channelled their surplus produce to help feed hungry South Africans through OneFarm Share

A bountiful harvest of Panorama Golden Delicious apples presented an unexpected challenge for a Piket-Bo-Berg, Western Cape farmer. Sitting in cold storage were 200 fruit bins of apples, with local or export demand limited and juicing companies already full.

Mouton’s Valley Farm, a family-owned business, cultivates a diverse array of produce including apples, pears, nectarines, mandarins, lemons, and their unique buchu oil. Faced with almost 90 tonnes of Panorama Golden Delicious apples, and nowhere to sell or send them, Mouton’s Valley Farm approached OneFarm Share, which focuses on addressing South Africa’s food insecurity challenge in a sustainable way.

“We heard about this impactful initiative through our close relationship with Standard Bank, which has always been supportive of our efforts to give back to society,” says Michele Starke, Director of Mouton’s Valley Farm.

Surplus produce is a natural consequence of farming. Add in the impact of climate change on weather patterns and seasons, and the surplus amount increases. OneFarm Share is an efficient and easy-to-use programme that addresses the common challenge of surplus produce faced by many commercial farmers. Rather than being destroyed, the produce is discounted or donated to OneFarm Share, and then distributed to end-beneficiaries in the food relief market.

“The challenge of surplus produce and the consequent waste is an on-going challenge for commercial farmers and food producers. It represents a sunk cost, with obvious hesitance on the farmer’s part to dip back into their pocket as a solution. OneFarm Share has become a powerful product in Standard Bank’s Agribusiness stable, as it allows us to support farmers in their efforts to reduce waste and operate in a more environmentally conscious way without adding to their cost line. The programme can respond quickly in critical situations, and we have seen multi-party benefits in the application of the programme, quite literally from farm to fork,” says Brendan Jacobs, Head of AgriBusiness BCBSA.

With almost 2 million tonnes of fresh produce going to waste each year, partly due to strict market requirements and supply chain disruptions, and with more than 12 million South Africans facing acute hunger, there is a need for an impactful intervention. This is where OneFarm Share comes in.

Mouton’s Valley Farm generously donated their 90 tonnes of Panorama Golden Delicious apples to the OneFarm Share programme. The donated apples were given to distribution partners SA Harvest and FoodForward SA to be supplied to registered charities and channelled to Gift of The Givers to aid their disaster relief efforts in the Western Cape. Through the donation, OneFarm Share were able to add a nutritious and fresh locally grown food item to the plates of many hungry South Africans.

In return for their donation, Mouton’s Valley Farm received a Section 18A certificate for the full value of their donation, which will go a long way towards reducing what would otherwise have constituted a significant monetary loss for the farm.

“Mouton’s Valley Farm is delighted to support the OneFarm Share initiative through our donation of 200 Panorama Golden Delicious fruit bins. This contribution reflects our commitment to supporting local communities and promoting zero-waste agricultural practices,” says Starke. “By partnering with OneFarm Share, we aim to enhance food accessibility, ensuring fresh produce reaches those in need.”

OneFarm Share is on track to meet the milestone of 100 million meals for hungry South Africans. With your help, we can have an even greater impact this year and in years to come. More information about OneFarm Share and about how to get involved is available at the website, onefarm.africa/onefarm-impact.

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