AFGRI supports AFMA

With the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) Forum 2016 drawing near, leading agricultural services, processing and grain commodities company AFGRI has announced that it will once again support this significant event for the animal feeds industry which takes place in March.

“As a key player in the manufacture of animal feeds in Africa, we feel it is important for AFGRI to have a presence at the Forum as a way of showing our ongoing support for AFMA, which represents the industry on various committees and platforms where it is necessary to enhance or protect the industry’s interests,” says AFGRI CEO, Chris Venter.

Venter adds that the Forum, Africa’s leading conference on animal feeding and nutrition, also creates a vital platform for informing local role-players of the latest international developments in the animal feed and nutrition industry, as well as giving AFGRI the opportunity to showcase its service offerings.

AFGRI will have a stand at the Forum, which will be held at Sun City from 1 – 3 March 2016, with representation by a number of its divisions, including AFGRI Animal Feeds, Nedan, AFGRI Milling and GroCapital.

UNIGRO and Indwe join forces to offer improved insurance services to customers

Leading agricultural services, food processing and grain commodities company AFGRI has announced a working relationship between its UNIGRO Insurance Brokers  (“UNIGRO”) business and Indwe Risk Services (“Indwe”), a leading personal, business and specialist risk and insurance advisory business, in order to improve its current insurance offering.

UNIGRO Insurance Brokers, one of the businesses making up AFGRI’s financial portfolio, offers a range of short-term and life insurance products to agricultural and other customers. By joining forces, the offering allows Indwe to access the agricultural expertise that UNIGRO has built up over decades of specialising in agricultural insurance and financial products. UNIGRO will in return gain significant expertise by utilising Indwe’s full range of risk advisory services.

“We believe that there are a number of commercially sensible and mutually-beneficial grounds for a partnership with Indwe,” says Ross Simmonds, Managing Director of UNIGRO Financial Services. “These include optimising costs, enhancing and improving our existing service offering and diversifying our business, particularly in identified niche markets such as this.”

In addition to bolstering its insurance product range, the agreement will see UNIGRO Insurance Brokers and Indwe. optimising its branch network where appropriate, starting with the Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg branches, followed by Upington and Kimberley.

The collaboration will also potentially allow UNIGRO to expand into Africa through Indwe’s Allied Africa Broker Network (“AAB”), an integrated network of independently African-owned and operated short-term insurance brokers, later in the year.

Peter Olyott, CEO of Indwe, comments that this unique agreement is designed to benefit both companies with the areas of collaboration far exceeding the areas of competition between the two businesses. The potential is great, the cultural fit between the two businesses is good and we both look forward to leveraging off the potential which the two businesses bring about by working together.

“We have had great success in partnering with like-minded businesses previously in order to contribute and join forces in a larger entity. We are doing this again as we believe that together we and our partners are able to ‘make it possible’. This is the spirit in which we are fostering this partnership,” concludes Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI.

AFGRI lends support to TuksRugby


Leading agricultural services, processing and grain commodities company AFGRI will be supporting varsity-level rugby through a donation of team uniforms, which will be handed to TuksRugby at an event to be held at AFGRI’s Byls Bridge head office on 3 February 2016.

Already a keen supporter of South African rugby through its sponsorship of the Vodacom Blue Bulls team, for which TuksRugby is considered a training ground, AFGRI would like to extend its interest in the sport for the benefit of a new generation of rugby players.

“We are proud to be associated with the club, which has been in existence for more than a century, and has a proud history in the country, having produced 88 Springbok players as well as four Springbok captains,” says AFGRI CEO, Chris Venter.

TuksRugby, the official rugby club of the University of Pretoria (Tuks), and one of the largest rugby clubs in South Africa, is based at the university’s Sports Campus. One of its initiatives is TuksYouthRugby, which provides the youth of Pretoria and surroundings with well-qualified coaches and officials to assist the players in developing their potential and skills to a higher level. Another objective of TuksYouthRugby is to prepare players to such an extent as to provide to them the best opportunity to be selected for the Blue Bulls youth team through the Blue Bulls TuksRugby Academy

Additional AFGRI division to offer a helping hand to farmers

AFGRI, which announced last week that it had donated R5 million worth of drought aid to farmers is now offering a zero increase on storage fees

AFGRI, a leading agricultural solutions and food processing company, with a defined focus on food security across Africa, is putting its money where its mouth is.

With South Africa in the grip of the worst drought the country has seen for the past six decades, AFGRI has stepped in and helped farmers across its service offering, the most recent of which was a donation of R5 million worth of animal feed to livestock farmers.

The momentum of drought relief aid from AFGRI is increasing, with the Grain Management division having decided not to increase storage rates for 2016. “Again, this step is in light of knowing that our farmers value every bit of relief we are able to offer. As partners to agriculture we feel this is the right thing to do. We need to ensure our farmers thrive when the rains come,” said Venter.

“Words cannot explain the pride I feel right now, knowing that we successfully allocated the entirety of the R5 million fund we made available to feed livestock in need,” says AFGRI CEO, Chris Venter. He went onto explain that the rationale of providing this feed was because farmers were slaughtering animals rather than having to watch them die. The feed provided by AFGRI is nutritionally formulated to help keep the animal alive. “Our goal to assist farmers to keep their livestock alive until the rains and grass return,” Venter went on to say.

The enormity of the drought is evident in the fact that it took less than one week to receive enough applications to deplete the R5 million worth of animal feed to livestock farmers in need. AFGRI kept track of each consignment from the first contact with the call centre. AFGRI’s feed mills are currently producing the drought feed to distribute to the drought stricken areas in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State, Northwest, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.  In the region of 110 000 animals are being supported.

Furthermore, much-needed financial relief is being offered for the current season (August/September) through the company’s financial arm, Unigro Financial Services. This is by way of restructuring payment for agricultural debt through various options, including consolidating outstanding amounts into term loans for unpaid revolving credit, production and insurance accounts due during 2016, subject to the availability of security.

“For hire purchases and medium-term loan repayments payable during 2016, we will consider rescheduling the outstanding amounts over the existing period plus one year, with no interest penalties, and will also consider extension for carry-over debt due during 2016, subject to the customer’s repayment ability and the availability of security.”

“I am proud that across the diversity of our business, we have been able to offer meaningful assistance. Animal feed was originally offered at discounted prices and as the drought tightened its grip, eventually given away and now, as a gesture of further consideration, we are holding our silo rates constant. In the greater scheme of the impact of the drought conditions, it feels like this is a drop in the ocean, but we are convinced that each small gesture goes a long way,” Venter concludes.

Taking the AFGRI brand to the streets

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Brand recognition is defined as “the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service just by viewing the product or service’s logo, tag line, packaging or advertising campaign”. Regardless of whether it’s a car, a van, an SUV, a delivery truck, or an 18-wheeler, vehicle branding gives companies an opportunity to advertise their brand in a way that draws attention and turns heads.
With this in mind the AFGRI Grain Management team decided to revisit its fleet branding. The most recognisable asset of the business is the majestic silo complexes that tower above their surrounding landscapes and are virtually impossible not to notice, even from a distance.
“The imposing silhouette of a silo complex was the obvious choice to be used as part of the branding, along with the AFGRI logo and relevant contact details,” explains Wayne Brown, Procurement Manager for AFGRI Grain Management. “We felt this would allow the vehicles to immediately be identified as belonging to AFGRI Grain Management, while clearly representing our core business activity, namely the safe storage of grain commodities.”
The overwhelmingly positive responses to the new branding, from both within AFGRI and the public, is testimony that the branding is undoubtedly achieving its desired objectives of reinforcing the AFGRI brand, not only in the communities in which AFGRI Grain Management has a presence, but virtually across the entire country, by virtue of the routes and distances the fleet travels.
“The striking branding will most certainly also have people who weren’t previously aware of the AFGRI brand, asking questions about who AFGRI is and what other services we offer, in addition to grain storage.”

AFGRI commits to ongoing help for drought-stricken farmers during 2016

The severe drought driven by El Nino continues to grip South Africa.

Centurion, 21 January 2016 – AFGRI, a  leading agricultural solutions and food processing company, is offering additional assistance to the nation’s beleaguered farmers, both commercial and emerging. Included are AFGRI’s existing farmers as well as the small-scale farmers that form part of AFGRI’s training and mentorship programme.

Towards the end of 2015, AFGRI dedicated capacity to produce animal feed products to assist farmers during the drought period, many of which are heavily subsidised. It also continues to distribute feed products through its Hinterland retail network.

“With the drought still in effect, livestock farmers are now battling to keep their animals alive,” says AFGRI CEO, Chris Venter. “The situation has become increasingly dire, with livestock farmers in the drought-stricken areas now having no roughage for their animals to graze – in fact, the country will have virtually no roughage left by the end of the winter if the rains don’t continue. In addition to earlier support to farmers, AFGRI is donating R5 million which will be allocated to selected animal feed products to assist farmers through this difficult time.”

For assistance in this regard, farmers can call the AFGRI help-line on 012 657 5199 or visit the AFGRI website to complete the application form.

Furthermore, much-needed financial relief is being offered for the current season (August/September) through the company’s financial arm, Unigro Financial Services, by way of restructuring payment for agricultural debt through various options, including consolidating outstanding amounts into term loans for unpaid revolving credit, production and insurance accounts due during 2016, subject to the availability of security.

“For hire purchases and medium-term loan repayments payable during 2016, we will consider rescheduling the outstanding amounts over the existing period plus one year, with no interest penalties, and will also consider extension for carry-over debt due during 2016, subject to the customer’s repayment ability and the availability of security.”

“Given our nine decade history in the agricultural sector, we understand how challenging the environment is. We want to stand by our farmers and try to help as much as we can, so that we can ensure their ongoing success. The reality is that South Africa simply cannot afford to become reliant on imports if our farmers don’t continue to thrive. Our actions are in line with our commitment as an enabler to food security, and as such we have to do as much as we can to be a true agricultural partner,” Venter concludes.

– end –


Issued for:                          AFGRI Limited

Contact:                               Chris Venter, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Tel:                                         011-063-2007

Email:                                    chris.venter@

Account:                              Keyter Rech Investor Solutions

Contact:                               Vanessa Rech                                                    Lynne Bothma

Tel:                                         087-351-3814 or 083-307-5600                    087-351-3815 or 082-920-4395

Date:                                     January 2016



AFGRI wins prestigious award

AFGRI, the agricultural services and processing company with a core focus on grain commodities and food security, was awarded a prestigious award at the Africa Best Employer Awards hosted in Mauritius on 8 December 2015. The awards, hosted by the Employer Branding Institute, recognises employers who create a culture of contribution and innovation within the work place.

The awards are judged by a nine panel jury consisting of senior leaders, researchers and academicians from across Africa in various capacities.

Chris Venter, AFGRI CEO noted that, “As a management team we are honoured to be recognised as an employer of choice by the panel and this again proves that hard work combined with our values of teamwork and innovation deliver results.”


Drought Aid – AFGRI shows true meaning of slogan “Together we make it possible”

AFGRI, the leading agricultural services and processing company is stepping up to assist livestock farmers feeling the brunt of the drought conditions. Two AFGRI Animal Feeds products, Production Lick 25 and Herbitech are being made available to customers at discounted prices.

“This is in an effort to support our livestock farming customers, as we know the challenges they currently face,” said Chris Venter, Chief Executive Officer of AFGRI.

The feed is suitable for cattle and sheep on low quality grazing as a supplement and will improve weight gain in young animals. It provides optimal quantities of quality natural protein, minerals, trace minerals and energy for economic utilisation of low quality roughages. The feed further more maintains body condition and supports reproduction on low quality grazing.

AFGRI Animal Feeds is known for the highest standards of technology and science which are used to produce quality food.

“We know only too well, the pressure that a drought places on the farming community. Although we are unable to solve the current situation, we can play a part, in alleviating some of the pressure by providing support as best we can,” said Venter.

In addition AFGRI, through its’ Financial Services subsidiary Unigro, has assisted a number of farmers unable to repay annual facilities through the provision of carry-over finance. This alleviates, to some extent, the cashflow pressure which the farmers currently face.

“In times such as these we need to be able to empathise with our customers and ensure that we are a support to them,” concluded Venter.

AFGRI Equipment buys TTS Agri

Leading agricultural services and processing company, AFGRI, has announced the acquisition of Truck & Tractor Specialists Agri (“TTS Agri”), a John Deere dealership based in Polokwane, Limpopo. The acquisition, which will be made by the group’s Equipment Division (“AFGRI Equipment”), is in line with the group’s strategy of being the preferred supplier of premium agricultural equipment, services and solutions in Africa.

“AFGRI Equipment is fast establishing itself as a reliable brand across Africa, and the acquisition of TTS Agri will increase the division’s area of operation right up to the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana, expanding existing operations. AFGRI Equipment will then operate throughout the north-eastern part of South Africa, as well as in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana.” says AFGRI CEO, Chris Venter. AFGRI Equipment also operates the largest John Deere dealership in Western Australia.

Patrick Roux, the Managing Director of AFGRI Equipment, adds: “The Limpopo province is an irrigation area and the market is very stable.  Our entry into this market will give AFGRI Equipment additional diversification locally and it will connect our operations in South Africa with those in Zimbabwe.”

AFGRI, through its Harvest Time emerging farmer training programme, will also aim to become more active across the country. A large portion of emerging farmers reside in the northern part of the country.

“The Harvest Time programme has various components aimed at ensuring sustainability. We are not just about training – the programme includes funding options to buy tractors and agricultural inputs, but has a substantial mentorship component. It is the combination of these elements which ensures sustainability,” concludes Venter.

AFGRI signs collaboration agreement with National Collateral Management Services (NCML) of India

AFGRI, a leading agricultural services and processing company, today announced a collaboration with NCML, India’s leading post-harvest agriculture management firm.

Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI said that, “The importance of this landmark agreement is that the partnership draws on the respective strengths of both organisations and that AFGRI is able to extend its footprint onto the Asian continent.” AFGRI is currently operational in South Africa, 34 other African countries, Australia, the United Kingdom and in the USA.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two parties on 6 November 2015.

AFGRI’s subsidiary Collateral Management International (“CMI”) together with AFGRI Grain Management have achieved wide coverage on the African continent, coupled with established credentials at many local and international banking groups. “This, together with the fact that Fairfax Financial Holdings is a large shareholder in both companies, demonstrates how the extraction of these synergies can help move AFGRI along the path of greater expansion,” Venter said.

The advantages to AFGRI include a wider footprint with the ability to ensure grain flows across the continents when imports or exports are required. For both parties’ downstream benefits include value-add processing such as milling and crushing of grains and seeds as well as access to products such as weather-based crop insurance.

Both companies have experience in dealing with small scale farming operations as well as large commercial businesses and this expertise will benefit the collaboration.

The collaboration will include all services associated with collateral management such as inspection, testing and certification, grain management and marketing, trade finance and precision farming which includes geo mapping, crop estimation and weather intelligence. It also includes aspects of cross-border trade. Venter went on to explain that this collaboration is meaningful for AFGRI as it involves three divisions namely CMI, Grain Management and GeoAgro (in which AFGRI has a 50% shareholding). “This collaboration demonstrates the strength of AFGRI coupled with our ability to support our underlying fundamental – food security,” Venter explained.

It is expected that the agreement will aide trade, especially with regard to agricultural and food products between India and Africa.

Venter concludes by saying that, “Our vast experience in agriculture in South Africa is where our roots will remain. This collaboration is demonstrating how valuable our experience is and how, across continents, we can share ideas for a common goal.”