South Africa: New online service offers farm fresh produce

A new online platform called FarmDirectSA -launched on October 1- promises to bring South Africans the best produce directly from the farmer to your table. Jaco Badenhorst, CEO of OENA Farming says the innovation was birthed from his personal experience during the many months of lockdown, and is much needed in the region. (The OENA Escapes brand is well known in the Western Cape for their resorts, country houses and hotels.)

“What started as a lockdown project is turning into a fresh and very exciting market disruptor in the food supply market,” he said. “We stay on a farm and challenged ourselves during lockdown to only eat products that you buy directly from other farmers and growers. We were also fortunate to have our own chickens that gave us eggs, and vegetable garden full of lovely fresh vegetables. It became a food adventure, and we decided that this could be such a fresh approach to food sourcing. So the idea was born to empower farmers to connect directly with consumers.”

According to, Badenhorst said he realised he needed someone with online experience, and someone who understood technology to turn this dream into a reality. He approached Helmut Drewes from Agrista to help get the project off the ground.

“We partnered and formed the new business called FarmdirectSA. From day one we just knew we could work together and make this project a reality and huge success. Three months of hard grinding, followed with just over 50 farmers that registered to sell, and now we have 150 products listed before we launch sales on October 1, 2020.”

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