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Communicating effectively WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

Imagine being fined C$82 000 for using an emoji in a text message.

In July the BBC reported on a Canadian farmer who was sued when he used the thumbsup emoji to acknowledge receipt of a contract from a longstanding client. Unfortunately, the client interpreted the emoji as the farmer’s acceptance of the contents of the contract, resulting in the hefty fine.

Duidelike, doeltreffende kommunikasie bly belangrik, ongeag die omstandighede. En gegewe die erns van sommige van die uitdagings wat tans die vrugtebedryf in die gesig staar, vind hierdie stelling beslis aanklank. Kommunikasie is dus een van die oorkoepelende strategiese fokusareas in die bedryf, naas transformasie, marktoegang, versterkte bande met die regering en belanghebbendes, en logistiek en infrastruktuur. Goed geteikende kommunikasie tussen rolspelers en belanghebbendes binne die bedryf help om produsente toe te rus om ingeligte besluite te neem, hul winsgewendheid ‘n hupstoot te gee, en om die broodnodige behoud van werk te verseker. Dan sing die bedryf mos uit dieselfde gesangboek wanneer kritieke bedryfsvereistes vir buitelandse uitvoer aan die regering verwoord moet word.

In September a Fruit SA delegation visited retailers in Germany and the UK to make a case for the adverse effects of rising compliance costs on growers and on the fruit industry at large, but also to better understand the context and to seek compromise. In this edition – in the foreword and in a featured article on page 11 – we shine some of the spotlight on these escalating compliance costs that are exacerbating the headwinds already faced by our price-taking growers.

Also featured, among others, are “Somersnoei van wingerd”, “Ownership is not transformation”, “False codling moth and carob Editorial SA Fruit Journal moth larvae”, and we explore the transition to occupational qualifications.

On 31 October Fruit SA hosted its 10th anniversary celebration at Monte De Dios in Pretoria. I was delighted to emcee at this signature event, which drew various dignitaries and stakeholders. Hearty congratulations to the Fruit SA board and its staff on this milestone (read more about this on page 4). And on 18 November the past Agri’s Got Talent winners performed at a festive 10th-year commemorative event in Paarl. I thoroughly enjoyed the beats at this iconic agri show.

On that celebratory note, how was that Bokke win against the All Blacks on 28 October! We’re the only country in the world to have won the Rugby World Cup four times! Like me, you don’t even need to fully understand rugby to recognise the magnitude of this achievement – for sport, but also for the morale of South Africans. We’ve been through a lot together.

I hope we all manage to enter the festive season with positivity, mindful to reflect on what the industry has done right this year. And that includes communicating effectively when it mattered most.

Happy holidays.

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