“The food and agro-processing sector has been a priority for the Commission since 2008 due to its significant contribution to the economy broadly and its potential to serve as a driver of inclusive growth in the South African economy," said Commissioner Doris Tshepe in a media statement to launch FPMI..
"It is for these reasons that the Commission, through the FPMI, intends to conduct an inquiry into the fresh produce value chain, in order to understand its functioning and the features, or combination of features, which may be impeding competition and participation.”
FPMI is hosting a series of workshops for small and emerging farmers from September to October 2023 across the country.
These workshops aim to engage farmers on various aspects of their experiences in the fresh produce sector, including challenges related to market access, input procurement, unfair treatment in sales, access to finance, and water access.
The insights gathered will help FPMI assess whether there are factors in the fresh produce value chain that hinder competition. Small and emerging farmers are encouraged to participate and share their experiences.
After the workshops, public hearings will take place in October 2023. The FPMI's goal is to examine competition-related issues in the fresh produce value chain and publish its final report by October 2024.
• Limpopo: Vhembe district from 5-6 September 2023
• Limpopo: Mopani/Tzaneen district from 12-13 September 2023
• Eastern Cape: Keiskammahoek region from 18-20 September 2023
• Kwazulu-Natal: Tugela region from 27-28 September
• Western Cape: Vredendal-Clanwilliam region between 2-6 October 2023