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South Africa Minister of agriculture to visit West Midlands

Haygrove is a 23 year old, UK and Western Cape berry fruit farming and manufacturing business, with polythene tunnel sales in 45 countries to the World’s best growers. Selling Driscoll branded berries to the leading UK and European retailers as well as exporting to Dubai and Russia, they began to operate in South Africa 10 years ago, and now employ 1,100 staff at two sites on the Western Cape, as well as their UK base in Ledbury. They also have a not-for-profit division, Haygrove Development, which works in South Africa and Gambia on skills transfer projects designed to lift people out of poverty.

Haygrove owner, Angus Davison, along with friend and former UK employee, Sean Tager, started Haygrove Heaven in South Africa with one hectare of raspberry plants in 2002. Today they grow 118 hectares of berries and produce in excess of 1,000 tons annually.

The visit, arranged by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Vine Tree Solutions (VTS), comes within a few weeks of the launch of a new cross-government focus on trade and investment. UKTI’s new five year strategy and the FCO’s Charter for Business demonstrate the Government’s dedication to supporting international business, championing UK business overseas

Ben Salisbury, Director of Vine Tree Solutions, said “We are very pleased the Minister will be visiting Haygrove during his trip to the UK. They are a great example of how a UK company can successfully expand their business internationally.

The current economic climate has made it even more important for UK companies to look overseas to develop their business, which is one of the reasons Vine Tree Solutions was set up. We are happy to be able to assist UKTI in arranging this visit.”

The Minister, accompanied by two Western Cape workers from the cut flower industry, will be in the UK supporting South Africa’s entry at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, as well as promoting the benefits of setting up joint ventures in South Africa.

"Taking these workers overseas is part of our commitment to assist and support new farmers and farm workers to develop their skills. In addition to the exposure to the Chelsea Show, we will also visit a flower farm while in the UK", Van Rensburg said to the ‘Voice of the Cape’ radio station website.

by S. C.
26 may 2011, World News > Europe