Following the announcement of the 2019 #SAOliveAwards & #AbsaTop10 Olive Oils Awards in South Africa, we are presenting a series of interviews with each Gold winning producer.
Congratulations to the winner of the 2019 WCP Agricultural Worker of the Year award
Francois Cilliers, olive oil maker from Willow Creek Olive Estate, was announced the WINNER of the 2019 Western Cape Agricultural Worker of the Year Award at the annual Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards, presented by the Western Cape Government.
Francois competed against 1 392 agricultural workers from 16 different regions to walk away with this achievement. He is also the first person to receive this award in the Breede Valley Region.
Francois won prizes valuing more than R100 000, which includes a study trip abroad. He will now also be part of the Western Cape Prestige Agri Worker Forum that meets with the Minister of Agriculture on a quarterly basis.
The gentle giant that he is, Francois was very modest in his reply when asked how he achieved this award:
“Agriculture creates opportunities, just believe in what you want to be and you can determine how you want your life to pan out. Always ask questions, look up to people who have the potential and take ownership of your road to success.”
Phillip Crous, General Manager at Willow Creek Olive Estate praised Francois and thanked the WCP DOA, the Shoprite Group and other sponsors:
“At Willow Creek, we believe in unlocking the talent of our people and creating opportunities for them to grow, develop and rise to the occasion. Francois certainly is a testimony of this management approach.
We are so proud to have Francois on our team. He is a very hardworking, dedicated and loyal member of the team. He is the heart of Willow Creek Olive Estate. He assures that we produce award-winning oil year after year.”
PERU through the Eyes of a South African (German) SOL D’ORO 2019 TACNA/LIMA PERU.
After a long flight from Cape Town, via Johannesburg and Sao Paulo, I arrived in Lima in the early hours of the 22 September to the friendly faces of my hotel hosts.
Because my flight to Tacna was only late in the afternoon, I went on a city tour of Lima the next day. My driver and tour guide (Marie) were fantastic. In the few hours I spent with them I learned an incredible amount about the history of Peru and Lima. I am still in contact with both.
Arriving in Tacna in the early evening, Susana from Argentina and I were welcomed by Marino (the Sol d’Oro Panel leader), Lourdes and her family (our Peruvian host). Not having to catch a taxi to the hotel was a very personal and deeply appreciated touch for me. The rest of the judges arrived later that evening and we had our welcome dinner at the Hotel. There we met some of the organizers, including Ursula. We also met our chef, who was with us for the duration of the competition tasting. Having him prepare our morning and afternoon tea, lunch, as well as most of our dinners, was once again a very special touch to the overall experience of the event.
Our tasting facilities at Club Union were spacious and had a great atmosphere. Each judge’s tasting station had a special colourful Peruvian flavour. The oil servers did their job with a smile and the whole competition tasting process went very smoothly. The team of judges and the panel leader, Marino, worked together in great harmony.
The evening entertainment was fun-filled and we met other members of the organisation as well.
The whole team flew to Lima for the awards function. There we also visited an agricultural exhibition where there was a lot to see and learn about fresh produce.
Then the big moment arrived, the announcement of the winners!
On the evening following the awards function we went on a short tour of ‘Lima by night’ and had our last dinner in Peru.
A big THANK YOU to Lourdes and her family, ProOlivo and ALL those who made our stay in Peru so welcoming. The judging event was superbly planned and executed, and the evenings were filled with colourful happenings. I had a great time in Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the other historical places we visited. I also met my first llama. Thank you Lourdes for organizing three wonderful days.
SOL D’ORO Southern Hemisphere International Competition 2019 in Tacna/Lima PERU was very well organised and everybody involved went the extra mile to ensure a great event. I brought home many colourful memories.
THANK YOU ALL!