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Similarities that necessitate collaboration

“All humans are 99.9% genetically identical.”

Though hardly a newsflash to some, personally, this National Institute of Health finding brings a certain sense of oneness, with a promise of untapped opportunity. The institute adds, “only 0.1% of genetic variations are responsible for the phenotypic differences.”

This also got me thinking about the largely untapped similarities in the global fresh produce trade context. Drastic changes in this terrain have highlighted distinct similarities among the signifi cant challenges faced by farmers worldwide. Some of these challenges have even resulted in recent international farmer protests in countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Romania, and Poland.

Ooreenkomste in dié hedendaagse uitdagings wêreldwyd is selfs meer duidelik sigbaar in die subsektore van die varsvrugtebedryf in SA. Maar die vraag is, hoe gebruik ons dit tot wederkerige voordeel? Hoe kan die varsvrugtebedryfverenigings nouer saamwerk deur inligting doelgerig met mekaar te deel, vir beter doeltreffendheid? En hoe kan produsente – met behulp van dié verenigings – slimmer saamspan om markintelligensie gesamentlik te benut, en om uitdagings saam aan te pak?

Industry collaboration in addressing mounting challenges at the ports is a prime example of strength in unity. Though these setbacks are far from being completely resolved, notable strides are being made.

Transformation is another area where industry subsectors are joining hands for greater impact. I recently joined an initiative organised by Fruit SA, in collaboration with Hortgro and SATI, where the fruits (economic and otherwise) of sustainable transformation on farms in the Western Cape were proudly showcased to attending government representatives and industry stakeholders.

And joining the SAAGA annual avo season lunch in March provided me with great insight yet again, into this dynamic subsector.

Industry commitment to collaboration has truly augmented its response to disruptions and changing conditions.

Here’s to using our similarities for greater effectiveness.

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