We hear constant talk about job creation, food security and a more equitable society. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies speaks about improving and shortening regional value chains to bring down the cost of doing business and the cost of food, but little action results.
It is, therefore, delightful to see that the Spar Group has made a strategic decision to create fresh-produce hubs in designated rural areas in an effort to boost smallholder farmers and benefit consumers.
It makes total sense. At present, instead of the fresh produce grown in rural areas going straight to retail outlets in the vicinity, it is transported to urban distribution centres such as Johannesburg for processing and then trucked back again to the rural areas. Because of these logistics, farmers are paid less, consumers pay more and low-income families cannot purchase sufficient amounts of nutritious fresh produce.