Distell has embarked on an eco-friendly, water recyclable aquaponics project to grow a variety of vegetables and also farm fish, at its Nederburg Winery in Paarl. As a hub-and-spoke venture, it is geared towards building skills, empowering local entrepreneurs, and growing rural employment in the greater Drakenstein area.
The company has, via its Agri+Gator empowerment arm, teamed up with majority black-owned Mi-Crop Group Holdings to produce pesticide-free rainbow trout, herbs, and specialty salad crops all year round.
Eric Leong Son, Distell’s acting director of corporate affairs, explains: “We started working on this project more than a year ago. It’s very much aligned with Distell’s purpose of creating memorable moments and crafting a better future, as well as the company’s vision of making a difference by creating shared value in chosen markets. These types of transformational partnerships, involving multiple stakeholders in our value chain, truly deliver tangible value for the community at large, and we would like to thank all our partners on this journey.”
Distell is providing the land, water, and electricity at its Nederburg farm, and is co-funding the project with Mi-Crop, that is providing the technology, infrastructure, expertise, and training of staff. Mi-Crop’s Lester Hugo is managing operations at the farm and transferring skills to formerly seasonal workers who are now being employed full-time.
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