In response to the recent floods wreaking havoc in the Eastern and Western Cape regions, Standard Bank has taken proactive steps to provide crucial assistance.
The Western Cape, grappling with the loss of 11 lives and rendering hundreds homeless in areas like Franschhoek, Kleinmond, Hermanus, Betty’s Bay, McGregor, and Franschhoek, faces an acute humanitarian crisis. Simultaneously, the Eastern Cape is still reeling from the aftermath of earlier floods this year, particularly affecting coastal regions like Port St John.
To address the pressing needs of the affected communities, Standard Bank has committed an additional R1.5m for relief efforts, demonstrating a commitment to immediate and impactful support.
Leveraging its OneFarm Share ecosystem, Standard Bank is actively mobilising farmers, granting them access to produce. This strategic initiative aims to empower farmers to assist distressed communities in both provinces, providing a comprehensive and sustainable approach to aid and recovery.
In addition to the financial contribution, the bank has mobilised more tonnes of fruits and vegetables that will be donated to non-profit organisations.
OneFarm Share is a digital platform that multiplies the impact of food donations and streamlines procurement directly from farmers and food producers. With the assistance of expert trade advisors, the programme facilitates the smooth delivery of nutritious farm produce to established food distribution partners, at the lowest possible cost.
“Our thoughts are with the affected families and communities. The impact of climate change and ongoing food insecurity in our country requires everyone to work together to find innovative solutions.
“Approximately a third of 10 million tonnes of food produced in SA goes to waste every year, with these losses generally occurring early in the food chain,” says Niki Neumann, head of agribusiness platforms, and innovation for business and commercial banking at Standard Bank.
“Innovative technology-driven business models can otherwise minimise food waste on farms and ensure people in need receive nutritious food that would otherwise be lost.”
Empowering growth and sustainability
Since inception, OneFarm Share has matched over 19,250 tonnes of produce requested on the relief marketplace (digital platform) to availability of excess and/or out-of-spec produce from registered farmers.
The total rand value of the procured produce, which otherwise would have not been viable on the commercial markets, is more than R 88m. More than 60% of that value has been directly paid into emerging farmers- and 22% into female farmer-owned enterprises. This has helped 444 small-scale farmers get to market and earn better prices for their crops, and seeing these farmers earn more than R55m for their efforts.
“We are deliberate about balancing the challenges posed by climate change with the need to support access to reliable energy, water security and other resources that support economic growth and poverty alleviation.
“We are actively encouraging sustainable agricultural practices and partnerships through specific solutions that support climate-smart agriculture – smart energy, smart water, smart equipment, and smart practices.
“We will enable access to trade markets for farmers, drive financial inclusion, support supply-chain efficiency and minimise food waste on farms through our OneFarm platform, with a continued commitment to supporting innovation and growth across the agricultural value chain,” adds Neumann.