Joint recognition for SA Olive industry young women

When local olive producers and farmers were awarded bronze, silver and gold medals for their remarkable Extra Virgin Olive Oils at the 2021 SA Olive Awards on 9 September 2021, two exceptional young women were also jointly awarded the SA Olive Worker of the Year Award for their personal and professional growth.

Previously known as the SA Olive Mentorship Awards, the SA Olive Worker of the Year Award was established as part of an ongoing commitment to promote excellence and to recognise growth of individuals in the industry.

Out of all the nominations received for 2021, two women stood out: Carmelita Brink and Lee Ann Swarts. They were awarded a joint floating trophy made by former SA Olive Chairman and Master Mentor John Scrimgeour.

Carmelita Brink from Oakhurst Olives

Carmelita has been part of the Oakhurst Olives family for 2 years. Having started as a general farm worker, she then became an integral part of the team as an assistant in both the office and the tasting room. Her mentor, Charmaine Doubell says: “Carmelita’s confidence will see her being in charge of the customer supply chain in the next few years as she is a problem solver, team player and shows enormous respect for her fellow workers, management and customers.”

Lee Ann Swarts from Olyfberg

With a total of 12 years’ experience under her belt with Olyfberg, Lee Ann was the obvious choice to be nominated for this award by her team. Her calm and honest attitude toward her work has enabled her to aspire to new heights over the past year. Head of Section at Olyfberg, Pikkie Lourens says: “I see Lee Ann as the Senior head of the administrative department here as her positive attitude and her willingness to learn has resulted in her taking on more responsibility and always with equal enthusiasm.”

The Worker of the Year Award demonstrates SA Olive’s commitment to developing and nurturing young talent in the industry.