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Tru-Cape grower is Toyota New Harvest winner of the Year

Tru-Cape grower, André Cloete, a farmer from the Overberg area in the Western Cape, won the 2016 New Harvest of the Year award. The New Harvest competition recognises the most promising young farmer from a previously disadvantaged background. All entrants are nominated by various businesses or associations in the Agricultural sector.

Cloete farms with apples, pears, oats, barley, sheep and cattle on the Klein Ezeljacht farm situated close to Greyton. He was nominated by the Western Cape branch of the African farmers’ association of South Africa.

Cloete, who has 28 years of practical farming experience, started as a farm manager until he entered into a rental agreement with the Klein Ezeljacht to farm and manage the land himself. After this change, Cloete introduced a few changes to the farm, including a revised irrigation system, as well as a new crop protection strategy.

The farm’s main pear varieties are Forelle and Packham’s Triumph, while the apples include Golden Delicious and Royal Gala. Through his many changes and consistent hard work, Cloete now exports his fruit through Tru-Cape and delivers fruit to Elgin Fruit Juices.

Cloete is also actively involved in the farming community and is the chairperson of the Caledon North Farmers’ Association, a Director of Deciduous Fruit Development Chamber (DFDC) and the South African Apple and Pear Producers’ Association (SAAPPA). Furthermore, he is a mentor for other upcoming farmers in the area and often looks for opportunities to employ more people and uplift their social status.

AFASA describes Cloete as “a professional farmer who understands all the different facets of business. He manages his business like a corporate business and takes great care of his product and people. He is recognised by the industry and government as a role model for other farmers.”

In talking about the win Cloete explains: ''We were 42 candidates from all nine provinces and I was selected in the top five and then as the Number One at the Gala evening in held in Johannesburg. Two-a-Day and and Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing play a vital role in our business because of the services rendered and support given since the start, almost nine years back. Their open-door policy at Two-a-Day, in particular, also plays a huge role.” 

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing managing director, Roelf Pienaar, says in 2013, when Tru-Cape director and grower Rossouw Cillé won Farmer of the Year, Andre Cloete won the national award for best new entrant to commercial farming. “Andre’s recognition again this year in the Toyota-sponsored award makes all of us at Tru-Cape very proud.” Pienaar ends.

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