If you weren’s able to attend the Absa Top 5 Awards Luncheon, here is the message from our Sponsor by Doug Walker, Absa | Provincial Managing Executive
“Thank you for granting me the opportunity to be an Absa ambassador for South African Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
We recently celebrated our 20-year partnership with the Pinotage Association and we are embarking on the 12th edition of our involvement with the Absa Cape Epic Bike Race.
Raising the matter of longstanding relationships with sponsors based in and originating from the Western Cape, demonstrates that we as a sponsor want to support excellence, on the basis of contribution such sponsorships make to growth, local prosperity and the profiling of excellence in our province.
For Absa, this sponsorship meets the perfect template for our strategy of Shared Growth.
Let’s think about what you, as producers, valued directors of SA Olive, representatives of HORTGRO, the panel of tasters and the media are contributing to the excellence of this growing industry. You create 12,000 jobs. You create platforms for the dependants working for you to establish sustainable livelihoods. You invest in the technology and innovation to make this industry more competitive. The contribution you make to the production environment is key to promoting a South African product.
When olive oil producers prosper and the industry grows, there will be a joint benefit for banking partners, like Absa, as well as the communities in which you as producers, operate.
South African Extra Virgin Olive Oils are a unique selling point for home-grown oils and reports suggest that exported oils are sold at a premium price abroad. Consumer education locally will be key to generating sales, not only on retail shelves, but also at the locations of the producers through Agri and experiential tourism. Many producers are small businesses, unable to afford marketing expenditure. I am delighted to note the small producers in the list of finalists.
I am aware that excellent oils perfected by small and boutique producers who were awarded at the SA Olive awards ceremony, didn’t make the final selection for the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards. Directors of SA Olive and industry leaders here today, must come forward and lead the way to promote the cause of the smaller producer. Join hands in the industry, if you are a winner today, to reach out with your expertise and excellence to create a brotherhood of excellence. Broaden the scope for access to markets and retail space for each other.
The purpose of the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards was to create awareness of the excellence in this growing industry. Now we want to help you and assist you, with the marketing effort, to accelerate the commercialisation of South African Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It is a great honour for Absa to create an award-based recognition platform, which will motivate producers to strive for excellence as it embeds commercial value in terms of return on investment and a reward for the passion that you put into creating a unique product.