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Essential info for International firms seeking to export to Southern Africa

Essential info for African-based farmers and agribusinesses seeking to export 

Longmore

We as the directors of Longmore Flower Estates, hereafter LFE would like to express our sincere satisfaction and gratitude to the Department of Agriculture for appointing Anton Scheepers of AIM to undertake the project work here at LFE.

We are very happy with the work he has done to date. Over 20 000 Madiba plants have in fact been delivered. He successfully arranged that 3 ha of land be cleared and cleaned so that the Madib&s can go in and be planted in August of this year.

We are especially grateful that Mr Scheepers is now our new mentor and he has demonstrated his commitment to this project by arranging that our entire nursery be fixed down to the heating elements being re-fitted, our Strelitzia plants saved and that many hectares of our Sylvia be cleaned and pruned to date. Mr Scheepers also Found us a market for our flowers and assisted us at his expense to harvest and market our Pink Ice harvest.

We are delighted with this report and look forward to working closely with him and all other stakeholders as we restore LEE together.

Lena Geswind
(Chairperson & New Managing Director)

Karoo Catch

The Camdeboo Satellite Aquaculture Project is an initiative of the Blue Karoo Trust (BKT) which aims to establish a preserved freshwater fish industry in the Eastern Cape using a farming method called aquaculture, which is “the rearing of aquatic organisms in captivity, and implies interventions in the growth of the organism and ownership of the organism being cultivated.” The freshwater fish produced by the initiative is processed, packaged and sold to a range of customers, inclusive of retail, wholesale, traders, and bulk markets such as caterers and public sector kitchens.

This letter serves to confirm that the BKT has been working with AIM, and specifically with Mr Anton Scheepers, for the past three (3) years in terms of developing the market for the abovementioned processed products.  During this time, we have come to appreciate AIM for the following attributes:

  • Highly professional performance
  • In-depth industry knowledge and experience on matters relating to agricultural marketing
  • General project management experience and expertise
  • Ability to take innovative and unfamiliar primary products to a range of markets
  • Ability to identify strategic joint venture partners
  • Skill in supply chain engineering
  • Vast experience in dealing with statutory authorities and parastatal funders

We believe that AIM bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, as they continues to be an invaluable service provider to our company. We have been very satisfied with their effectiveness and efficiency and would not hesitate to recommend AIM to any other organisations.

McCain

May I comment on why I think (Anton Scheepers) could be a sales and marketing asset, and worthy of your consideration.

  • > 25 years in agriculture in SA and probably >10 years experience in Africa – excellent grounding in SA agricultural trade and trading conditions
  • Given his African and SA experience, he is known by many grain commodity traders and also numerous grain seed traders. He is also known by many farmers and agri industries, importers and exporters.
  • Huge networking base in SADEC agriculture – one of the biggest and widest networks I have ever seen, and thrives on networking.
  • Very good skills in pioneering new business opportunities and a courageous man when it come to new challenges.
  • does the right amount of talking and discussion and planning, then gets into action. He is an action man, more than a talker.
  • Anton is not shy when it comes to working hours and dedication. In fact – this is his one downfall – he tends to work too hard.
  • Excellent sales skills – you will note his contagious enthusiasm and ability when you meet him. Although he not an expert in seed technology his background and agri-understanding will enable him to quickly get up to speed.
  • His marketing skills are also above average and will enable the development of a strong strategic plan, which will be implemented on time, if not before.
  • Although much of his experience is from farm gate to the consumer, he has been involved in many successful “greenfields” projects and other commercial agricultural enterprises – which keep him solidly grounded as an input supplier for farms, seed companies etc.. This is in fact a big advantage as any involvement as input supplier has his clients profit margin in mind, and as such gives him an advantage over others.
  • Given a good company support base in terms of admin, technical and management matters, and relevant guidance when required – he could be a worthy asset for Astec.

Dr Derek Askew, Commercial Manager – Agriculture
McCain Foods SA (Pty) Ltd

City of Tshwane

On behalf of the City of Tshwane, I take this opportunity to thank you for your contribution to the l Tshwane Agricultural Summit, whose main objective was to develop an Integrated Agricultural Development and Support Strategy, Policy and Implementation plan for the City.

Thank you for being part of the planning process, the “brains” behind the successful event we recently held. Our intention, as stipulated during our planning sessions is to continue in partnership with you on the implementation of the strategy and the promotion of Agriculture in our City.

If we constantly remind ourselves of the motto “No child will go to bed hungry in Tshwane’, then we will certainly achieve all the goals we have set.

Once again thank you for your support.

Tessa Ernest

Member of the Mayoral Committee: Agriculture and Environmental Management

EC Province

Anton Scheepers is one of the most respected rural agricultural development professionals in the country. Anton has had a hand in many green and brown fields rural agricultural development turn-around strategies over the years. He has an absolute flair for working with communities, particularly in transferring technology.

Mr. Scheepers has been directly involved through statutory structures since 1985 and as a head consultant in agricultural development projects since 2000. Mr. Scheepers is particularly skilled in linking failing projects with markets both locally and abroad and in this way pave the way for a market-led recovery. He served the development clients of my Department with distinction between 2004 and 2012.

His services and contributions are unique in blending solutions to the real practical issues that communities grapple with on a day-to-day basis, with the demands of modern local and international markets.

He understands the supply chain very well and has demonstrated his knowledge and ability in setting up strategic joint ventures to enable community-based projects to recover by supplying into newly established high-end/return markets.

He is an absolute asset to any technical team or agency absorbed with rural community-based projects.

I strongly recommend Mr. Scheepers also from a professional and dedicated point of view. He is one of those real problem solvers with a never-say-die attitude. He clearly enjoys what he does. He is a joy to work with and delivers excellence!

Anton Barkhuizen
Acting Coordinator Extension (PE Metro Sub-Districts)

Province of the EASTERN CAPE
Rural Development & Agrarian Reform

SA Trade Hub

“Anton served the interests of the Southern African Trade Competiveness Hub (Gaborone: Botswana) in 2007 and 2008 with distinction.

The goal of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Trade Hub is to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in Southern Africa.

With a team of regional and international experts based in Gaborone, Botswana, the Trade Hub provides targeted technical assistance to governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to advance regional trade within Southern Africa while incorporating gender integration, environmental compliance and strategic outreach in all activities.

Anton was directly absorbed with trade facilitation and promotion within the hub. During this time Anton served the hub with professionalism and excellence. Anton is particularly adept at assisting rurally based emergent farmers to produce into sophisticated markets be they locally or internationally. He brings with him a wealth of agricultural market development experience.

I can absolutely recommend him to serve in any agricultural development environment, particularly where market access is required.”

Amanda Hilligas, Former Chief of Party: SA Trade Hub, February 2014

BEE Fresh

Re: Anton Scheepers (AIM) assistance to BeeFresh

Anton Scheepers, through his company AIM, assisted BeeFresh between June and September 2010 as a consultant to develop the South African market for our range of ethylene control products.

Anton enjoys a very clear understanding of the agricultural industry in South Africa.  His many personal contacts with farmers, industry bodies and associations assisted BeeFresh to quickly get an idea of market size and demand for the ethylene control products of BeeFresh.

Anton also played a pivotal role to secure the Southern African rights for a range of temperature loggers in the USA.  These products can be marketed together by the same team at BeeFresh and to the same clients.

Anton performed his function well in opening the markets for BeeFresh.

We wish him and his company all the best for the future.

Dept of Agriculture, KZN

This serves to confirm that Mr AG Scheepers served the Department of Development Aid and later the Department of Agriculture between September 1985 and April 2000.

During this time he distinguished himself as a leading Rural Marketing Agricultural Economist, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, where he did head the section of Marketing for a number of years.

Mr Scheepers developed a number of courses during this time, most notably his course on agricultural marketing and exports. He also contributed to the course on entrepreneurship. He has further distinguished himself as an excellent lecturer on his subject matter. His enthusiastic approach to his subject combined with his knowledge and experience on his subject matter, has resulted in the fact that his courses were always very attended.

Mr Scheepers has a very practical approach to his subject and his highly informal attitude, together with his ability to draw the students into active participation in the sessions, is particularly noteworthy. He is highly recommended for any technical information transfer activity, within his subject matter.

KZN Province

This letter serves to state that Anton Scheepers the Managing Member of AIM carried out a number of community-based agricultural projects within KwaZu lu-Natal. I found him to be very hard working, professional and he commanded a very clear knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by communities in particular in finding solutions for them to access markets.

I can recommend Anton for any rural agricultural marketing development assignment. He also enjoys a very clear understanding of the agricultural trading environment be it to local, national or international markets.

Carlos Boldogh
56M: Investor & Catalytic Projects
KZN Provincial Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs