Sourcing the power of women to bolster the Tiger Brands value chain

Johannesburg. 4 August 2022.

Black women-owned enterprises are a growing supplier base across the Tiger Brands value chain. The company, South Africa’s largest food producer, spends on average R4.2-billion on procurement spend with black women-owned enterprises per annum and is actively working to increase this number by integrating more women-owned businesses into its value chain.


Caption: From left: Tiger Brands Agriculture Aggregators, Mpumi Maesela, Director of SE Holdings, and Lusanda Moletsane, owner of Khumo Ea Tsabo

Women entrepreneurs are playing a key role in providing either services or goods to Tiger Brands that contribute towards the production of the quality products enjoyed by the business’ large consumer base across the country.

Black women farmers, in particular, are a fundamental source of agricultural commodities used for the production of some of Tiger Brands’ most iconic and well-loved brands, including KOO, All Gold, Black Cat and ACE.

At least 70 women farmers in key agricultural communities across South Africa provide key ingredients to Tiger Brands. These include ground nuts, tomatoes, white maize, small white beans, sorghum and wheat. A critical focus for Tiger Brands is to help scale these women farmers to operate at a commercial level in South Africa, a barrier few are able to break.

This August Women’s Month, Tiger Brands is celebrating the black women-owned agricultural enterprises and women-owned smallholder farmers that are breaking through barriers to achieve commercial operating status with support from Tiger Brands. All of these women, directly or indirectly, form part of the Tiger Brands supply chain and contribute to creating thousands of jobs in their local communities.

“It fills us with great pride that South Africa’s most iconic homegrown brands have powerful and motivated women behind them who not only run their own businesses as successful entrepreneurs, but also create employment and bring positive change in the lives of others and communities. Their passion, hard work and love for agriculture goes into growing the key ingredients we use to produce loved brands that satisfy the tastes of our consumers,” says Mary-Jane Morifi, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, Tiger Brands.

Women farmers are also making a critical contribution in tackling household food security in South Africa where research indicates that more than 12-million people go hungry every day with children being the most vulnerable.

“If we are going to tackle the issue of food insecurity in a sustainable manner, it is agriculture that we need to look to, because farms and farmers produce the food that feeds the people. It’s important that large organisations like Tiger Brands support the sector and build the capacity and capability of farmers so that they are well-equipped to ensure that all South Africans have access to a healthy and nutritious meal every day,” says Morifi.

Tiger Brands Aggregator Agriculture Programme

Farmers forming part of Tiger Brands’ Agriculture Aggregator Programme are supported to grow at scale and operate at a commercial level. Tiger Brands provides Aggregators with market access and the opportunity to receive input finance, agrarian and technical support. Aggregators in turn enter into agreements with multiple smallholder farmers to procure the volume of agricultural raw materials required by Tiger Brands.

Mpumi Maesela and Lusanda Moletsane are two of Tiger Brands’ most successful women Agriculture Aggregators.

Mpumi Maesela, Director of SE Holdings, has been a Tiger Brands Agriculture Aggregator since 2020 and has since supplied Tiger Brands with A-Grade small white beans. Maesela works closely with smallholder farmers across KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Free State to produce Tiger Brands commodities and provides them with agri-fundamentals to support growing businesses. Maesela is from rural Eastern Cape and says that although her background is in the finance sector, her true passion is farming and her ambition is to make farming “cool”.

Lusanda Moletsane’s agri company, Khumo Ea Tsabo produces small white beans for Tiger Brands. In 2021, Moletsane’s two farming clusters in Nigel and Bronkhorstspruit yielded around 500 tonnes of produce. Moletsane leans on her mentors for guidance believing there is always something new to learn and says her aim is to help ‘feed the nation’.

Tiger Brands works consistently to help transform the South African agricultural sector through its Aggregator Programme and is continuously on the lookout for eligible black women farmers who amongst other criteria have a desire and passion for farming, as well as access to land with the required natural resources such as water.

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