The green and social activities of Raisins SA | Article

Raisins South Africa revealed that it strives to ensure the environmental integrity and social well-being of its local communities to ensure the future sustainability of the country’s dried fruit industry.

The nonprofit, which represents more than 700 raisin growers, announced the environmental strategies and socio-economic development projects that are at the forefront of its goals.

“South African raisin processors are always looking to reduce their environmental footprint while ensuring that the industry contributes positively to the quality of life of farmers and their communities,” noted the industry body.

According to Raisins SA, the industry is focusing on the energy efficiency of its farms, the use of water and the reduction of waste.

Water usage is continuously monitored and strict governance is in place to manage water usage in the Orange River and Olifants River areas so as not to ruin the abundant water source for irrigation.

Micro, drip, and flood irrigation are used by raisin growers, but all farms must adhere to water rights limits.

Energy efficiency is achieved through innovation in farming techniques, such as raised nets which are now widely used in South Africa for drying raisins, which helps to prevent mould.

The industry also plays a key role in generating economic activity, creating jobs, earning foreign exchange and boosting South African rural economies.

The South African raisin industry provides 30,110 employment opportunities, contributing to South Africa’s national poverty reduction goals.

Within the raisin industry, the focus is on providing workers with additional support in the workplace.

In addition to providing laundry facilities for protective clothing, local school and community food programs are funded by raisin packers and growers.

South African raisin experts have engaged directly with local educational institutions to educate and encourage skill development within the local community.

Raisins SA’s awareness-raising projects, such as running raisin grading classes and teaching soil preparation techniques to students at local schools, were “essential to future skills development to boost the economy.” local”.

Earlier this year, Raisins South Africa held a first Upington Raisin Tasting at the Protea Hotel. The event brought together 50 raisin growers, packers and technical advisors.

Raisin samples were tasted, scored and judged on a digital tasting app platform specially developed for the event.

“This is one of many projects that the agricultural department of the school, together with Raisins SA, organizes to promote agriculture and agricultural education,” said Ferdie Botha, CEO of Raisins South Africa. It was an informative workshop that we hope to do many more in the future.

Joel C. Hicks