The 19th of September at the Cape Royale Hotel in Greenpoint, Cape Town saw the finest turnout for an IMASA AGM. Since its inception 68yrs ago and this year was particularly special with the change in precedent giving rise to Project Rebirth.
Grant Norman was elected as President of IMASA at the AGM which was attended by at least 40 to 50 people including Chairpersons or representative from all South African National Markets and Market Agents.
The Theme for IMASA AGM was “Quo Vadis”-Where are we going? This featured predominant through panel discussions attended by 60 to 70 people. The discussions revolved around the relevant and present issues, the progress of Project Rebirth, unity amongst members, adoption of social media initiatives and the future for the industry.
With the Business part of the conference coming to a close a splendid gala dinner event was hosted by IMASA and attended by the Who’s Who in the fresh produce industry, including Mr Billy Morokolo (Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests), Mr Tommie van Zyl (ZZ2), Mr Jan van Zyl (Chairman of SAKO) and Lizel Pretorius (Registrar of Apac) to name a few.
The highlight of the evening was the Keynote speech given by the Cape Town Market’s CEO Mr Rob Lowe who welcomed all 100 guests.
Mr Lowe spoke about the Project Rebirth initiative and the IMASA engagement with government, municipalities and other stakeholders resulting in rising of the profiles of fresh produce markets.
He thanked the Chairman, Mr Grant Norman for his leadership in the execution of this initiative.
Mr Lowe, spoke extensively on the state of fresh produce markets leading up to 2013 and where the future of these markets be going in the future.
“The fresh produce markets will go where we want them to go; fundamentally our destiny is in our hands”
Bringing to guest’s attention “that we remain a potent force in the fresh produce industry and it is well within our competence and capacity to restore our businesses to full health and prosperity.”
Mr Lowe discussed Ownership and the three models currently coexisting in the 23 fresh produce markets throughout South Africa. He spoke about transformation over the last 20yrs of democracy in South Africa and how this has reflected in the Markets of today. He spoke of “Efficiency and Productivity”, highlighting the interaction he has personally had with producers, discussing their concerns and the possible changes that could be implemented.
Mr Lowe launched the idea that a SAQA registered Fresh Produce College should be established specifically designed to deal with the training of Market Agents and Salesman. Mr. Lowe also stressed the importance of the renewal of the Farmer/Market Agent relationship and the art of communication.
The Gala Event was topped off with an awards ceremony
The FIRST EVER Shiny Red Apple Award went to the Cape Town Market.
Harry Norman – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.
Herman Bonthuys – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.
Attie Horn – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.
Chris Nance – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.
Deon van Zyl – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry
Great cocktails, Interesting Speeches, Wonderful awards and delicious dinner all made for a successful event