9 February 2023
The oldest Agricultural Society in South-Africa, the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, trading as Agri-Expo, underwent inevitable restructuring. Significant losses due to projects not generating a profit during the past couple of years, as well as the poor economic climate, necessitated this drastic, though necessary decision.
According to Mr Pieter van Wyk, President of Agri-Expo, the problems that arose during the last couple of years, were structural in nature. “We unfortunately had to scale down on projects not generating a profit, as well as some very knowledgeable and skilled staff, but people that Agri-Expo can no longer afford to employ. We had to bring our expenditure in line with our income.”
After consultation with experts and staff, Agri-Expo’s Council came to the conclusion that Agri-Expo had to scale down on non-profit projects and could not retain more staff than could be afforded.
As a result, a process in terms of Article 189 of the Labour Law, commenced. This process was dynamic and interactive and consisted of various work sessions with experts and staff members. The process has now been concluded and affected staff members have already received fair and above average redundancy payments. “If we did not make these hard decisions now, in approximately 10 years’ time, this 192-year-old Agricultural Society would have had to close its doors. We thank the staff who left our employ for their dedication and skilled service to Agri-Expo and the wider agricultural industry”, Mr Van Wyk concluded.
In the light of the above, certain current projects also had to be ended. The Council, however, prioritised the following projects to continue: The SA Dairy Championships, the SA Young Wine Show, support for Agricultural Schools (agricultural youth development) and its Member Shows (agricultural shows).
Mr Breyton Milford has been appointed as Agri-Expo’s new General Manager. Milford has to date been the Operations Manager at Agri-Expo and knows the organisation well. The Council is excited about this appointment and believes in his contribution to the new era Agri-Expo is entering.
According to Milford, he is privileged to serve Agri-Expo and its members. “I believe that this is a new era in Agri-Expo’s history. We will have to follow a ‘back to basics’ approach. To ensure sustainability, all new projects will have to pass a strong affordability and relevancy test while promoting agriculture. I look forward to refocusing and streamlining Agri-Expo”.
The Council gives the assurance that Agri-Expo will continue to support its vision in a sustainable way, by focussing on exhibitions and other public relations initiatives to the benefit of its members, agriculture, the government and general public.
For more information please contact:
021 975 4440 / 082 708 5939