Today's Labour News

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agrisaMoneyweb reports that agricultural association Agri SA has warned that the closure of Tiger Brands’ Langeberg and Ashton Foods fruit canning factory in the Western Cape will have disastrous implications for the province’s farming communities by threatening more than 4,500 jobs and disrupting crucial value chains.

According to Agri SA’s Christo van der Rheede, the food producer has given notice to stakeholders of its intentions to close the 70-year-old fruit canning factory located in the small town of Ashton. The factory supplies fruit for Tiger Brands’s well-known Koo brand. Van der Rheede indicated: “The impact of the announcement is already being felt as labour brokers report that their teams are sitting at home as producers stopped pruning after the announcement. The factory is the life support of the Ashton community and without it the community faces socioeconomic disaster. The Langeberg and Ashton factory is also the biggest single source of income for the Langeberg Municipality.” The move to shut down the factory – if successful – will reportedly leave about 300 peach, apricot and pear farmers without a market to sell their produce. In a statement, Tiger Brands said it was currently in consultation with affected permanent and seasonal workers regarding the future of the factory. Initially, in 2020, Tiger Brands had decided to divest from the factory, and a consortium of 160 producers expressed their interest in buying the business. However, with the factory’s price tag reportedly set between R200 and 300 million, raising the funds was a challenge for the consortium. Tiger Brands has, according to Van der Rheede, given the consortium 60 days to raise the necessary funds or the food producer will continue with its plans, jeopardising the jobs of 250 permanent workers and about 4,300 seasonal workers.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Akhona Matshoba at Moneyweb
  • Read too, Farmers fear fallout of Tiger Brands’ looming closure of canning factory, at BusinessLive


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