Spar South Africa's rural hub programme has been announced as the winner in the rural and township development category at the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards for the second consecutive year.
The programme is seen as Spar's response to the importance of pulling up-and-coming farmers into the formal economy. It is a collaboration between small-scale farmers, Spar input suppliers and funders. Started in 2016, the hub contributes towards food security, food safety, nutrition, job creation and transformation by empowering small-scale farmers through skills transfer and economic participation. The first hub was established in Limpopo with five small-scale farmers producing vegetables on 22 hectares of farmland. Since then, it has expanded to 13 farmers on 126 hectares.
James Lonsdale, Spar's group sustainability manager, says: "We are incredibly grateful for the award as it recognizes the dedicated, hard-working small-scale farmers, our co-founders Vag iso and FNB), our various input suppliers and service providers as well as the rural hub technical and management team. It's only because each and every one of these people believes so much in this initiative that its ongoing success has been possible."